Corporate Compliance

AMA issues recommendation on foreign business associates

Compliance Monitor, December 7, 2005

Physicians must conduct due diligence with foreign vendors and include appropriate HIPAA items in their business associate agreements, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). At the AMA's annual meeting in June, delegates from Illinois urged the AMA to adopt a policy stipulating that the outsourcing of medical and financial information outside of U.S. jurisdiction should meet with HIPAA regulations for the appropriate licensing of individuals providing services, according to an AMA board of trustees report. The proposal came after a vendor in Pakistan threatened to post protected health information on the Internet in 2003 if the American company it was working with failed to pay. An AMA interim meeting in November concluded that since vendors are not covered by HIPAA-contrary to what the proposal assumed-and because of the impediments to enforcing such regulations overseas, the group should issue the weaker recommendation.

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