Health Information Management

What should we do if a business associate (BA) misuses our PHI?

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 18, 2006

If you know the BA has violated its contract, you must take reasonable steps to mitigate the breach or end the violation. If such steps are unsuccessful, you must terminate the contract. If you cannot terminate the contract, you must report the problem to HHS.

The HHS commentary notes that "knowing" that a BA has violated its contract means you have substantial and credible evidence of a violation. HHS also notes that although this standard relieves you of the need to actively monitor BAs, you must nonetheless investigate complaints or other evidence of violations by a BA.

For more information see Section 164.504(e) Business Associate Contracts and Section 164.530(f) Mitigation of the privacy rule.

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