How to Avoid Greatly Increased Liability in the Business Associate Relationship

Event Information
Product Format
Prerecorded Event
60 minutes
Product Description

How Can You Avoid Seven Figure Liabilities By Taking Care of Your Business Associate Contracts

The Omnibus Rule amending HIPAA changed the liability of business associates—that is, entities that provide services, such as transcription services, for covered entities—to make covered entities liable for the HIPAA breaches of their business associates under the federal common law of agency. Civil money penalties and litigation have already resulted in seven-figure liability.

Not being fully aware of the changes in liability for business associate breaches and failing to take precautions to avoid such liability can result in tremendous financial losses. Even if the covered entity or upstream business associate escapes liability in a lawsuit or investigation by the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”), the expenditure of time and resources in defending such a case can be tremendous. Just imagine the weeks-long battle to decide whether the covered entity is liable under the federal common law of agency.

In an informative webinar, attorney Jonathan P. Tomes— a nationally recognized authority and expert witness on health information law—will shed light on the key language in business associate contracts. He will discuss the tools for determining whether your business associates can put you at risk of liability for their breach. Plus, he will provide samples of indemnification clause and disclaimer of an agency relationship.

Session Highlights:

  • Who is a business associate?
  • Exceptions to the definition of a business associate
  • New requirements for covered entities, such as updating their business associate contracts, identifying new business associates, and whether to audit business associates for compliance
  • Changes to the definition of business associates in the Omnibus Rule
  • New requirements for business associates, such as complying with the Security and Privacy Rules and entering into “downstream” business associate contracts with subcontractors.
  • What is a security breach?
  • Covered entity liability for breaches committed by business associates, such as if the covered entity exerts too much control over the business associate’s functions and becomes liable under the federal common law of agency and the liability of business associates for subcontractors’ breaches
  • Omnibus Rule change to breach risk analysis
  • Required business associate contract language under the HITECH Act and the Omnibus Rule
  • Agency guidance from DHHS
  • How to avoid liability for breaches by your business associates
  • Should you audit your business associate’s compliance?
  • Practical effects on covered entities and business associates of the new rules, such as refusal of business associates to enter into such contracts and assume such liability, need for additional liability insurance and related topics

Who should attend

  • Health care practice and health plan in-house counsel
  • Compliance officers
  • Privacy and security officers
  • Financial officers
  • Outside law firm counsel providing HIPAA services
  • Management personnel of business associates (who may have the same liability for subcontractors (“down-stream” business associates)
  • HIPAA consultants
  • Doctors and other clinicians


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About Our Speaker

Jonathan P Tomes - Healthcare Compliance Expert

Attorney Jonathan P. Tomes is a nationally recognized authority and expert witness on health information law, having written more than 50 books and dozens of articles. He is president both of EMR Legal, Inc., which provides HIPAA seminars and consulting nationwide, and of Veterans Press, which publishes HIPAA compliance materials. He has co-authored a soon to be published book by the American Bar Association titled “What Are International...   More Info
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