Business Associate Agreement Template (HIPAA)

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Updated July 27, 2022

A business associate agreement (BAA) is a required HIPAA compliance document between a covered entity that agrees to share medical records with a business associate in a secure and protected manner. In the event of an unauthorized breach, the business associate would carry all liability related to the incident.

Table of Contents

Main Purpose

The main purpose of a business associate agreement is to share medical records securely between 2 or more parties.

Aside from being required under HIPAA law (45 § 164.502(e)(2)), the agreement requires the business associate, not the covered entity, to assume ALL LIABILITY in the event of a security breach (unless negligence is found on behalf of the covered entity).

If a breach occurs, a business associate has 60 days to notify and will assume the financial damages in accordance with HIPAA penalties.

What Happens after a BAA Terminates?

After a BAA terminates, all patient health information is required to be returned to the covered entity or destroyed by the business associate (45 CFR 164.504(e)(2)(ii)(J)).

Glossary (3)


Medical Records

Medical records are known as protected health information (PHI) or electronic protected health information (ePHI) (45 CFR § 160.103). Medical records are considered sensitive information that may only be shared under HIPAA law.


Covered Entity

A covered entity is a medical organization defined under HIPAA law (45 CFR § 160.103). Whether or not a covered entity provides medical services, if it can share medical records, it’s considered a covered entity.


Business Associate

A business associate is an independent contractor that is authorized to access a covered entity‘s medical records (45 CFR § 160.103).

Examples include:

  • Data Security Companies
  • IT or Tech Support Providers
  • Cloud Integration Companies
  • Bookkeepers/CPAs
  • Attorneys/Lawyers

Does not include:

  • Government agencies;
  • Health care providers;
  • Health insurance companies;
  • Health plan sponsors (incl. group health plans); or
  • Any organized health care arrangement.

Sample

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument

BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENT

This BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENT (the “BAA”) is made and entered into as of [DATE] by and between:

Covered Entity: [COVERED ENTITY NAME], a(n) ☐ LLC ☐ Corporation

☐ Partnership ☐ Other: [OTHER] (“Covered Entity”)

Business Associate: [BUSINESS ASSOCIATE NAME], a(n) ☐ Individual ☐ LLC ☐ Corporation ☐ Partnership ☐ Other: [OTHER] (“Business Associate”, in accordance with the meaning given to those terms at 45 CFR § 164.501). In this BAA, Covered Entity and Business Associate are each a “Party” and, collectively, are the “Parties”.

BACKGROUND

  • Covered Entity is either a “covered entity” or “business associate” of a covered entity as each is defined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1986, Public Law 104-191, as amended by the HITECH ACT (as defined below) and the related regulations promulgated by HHS (as defined below) (collectively, “HIPAA”) and, as such, is required to comply with HIPAA’s provisions regarding the confidentiality and privacy of Protected Health Information (as defined below);
  • The Parties have entered into or will enter into one or more agreements under which Business Associate provides or will provide certain specified services to Covered Entity (collectively, the “Agreement”);
  • In providing services pursuant to the Agreement, Business Associate will have access to Protected Health Information;
  • By providing the services pursuant to the Agreement, Business Associate will become a “business associate” of the Covered Entity as such term is defined under HIPAA;
  • Both Parties are committed to complying with all federal and state laws governing confidentiality and privacy of health information, including, but not limited to, the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information found at 45 CFR Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A and E (collectively, the “Privacy Rule”); and
  • Both Parties intend to protect the privacy and provide for the security of Protected Health Information disclosed to Business Associate pursuant to this Agreement, HIPAA and other applicable laws.

AGREEMENT

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual and conditions contained herein and the continued provision of PHI by Covered Entity to Business Associate under the Agreement in reliance on this BAA, the Parties agree as follows:

1. Definitions. For the purposes of this BAA, the Parties give the following meaning to each of the terms in this Section 1 below. Any capitalized term used in this BAA, but otherwise defined, has the meaning given to that term in the Privacy Rule or pertinent law.

  • Affiliate” means a subsidiary or affiliate of Covered Entity that is, or has been, considered a covered entity, as defined by HIPAA.
  • Breach” means the acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of PHI in a manner not permitted under the Privacy Rule, which compromises the security or privacy of the PHI, as defined in 45 CFR § 164.402.
  • Breach Notification Rule” means the portion of HIPAA set forth in Subpart D of 45 CFR Part 164.
  • Data Aggregation” means, with respect to PHI created or received by Business Associate in its capacity as the “business associate” under HIPAA of Covered Entity, the combining of such PHI by Business Associate with the PHI received by Business Associate in its capacity as a business associate of one or more other “covered entity” under HIPAA, to permit data analyses that relate to the Health Care Operations (defined below) of the respective covered entities. The meaning of “data aggregation” in this BAA shall be consistent with the meaning given to that term in the Privacy Rule.
  • Designated Record Set” has the meaning given to such term under the Privacy Rule including 45 CFR § 164.501.B.
  • De-Identify” means to alter the PHI such that the resulting information meets the requirements described in 45 CFR §§164.514(a) and (b).
  • Electronic PHI” means any PHI maintained in or transmitted by electronic media as defined in 45 CFR § 160.103
  • Health Care Operations” has the meaning given to that term in 45 CFR § 164.501.
  • HHS” means the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • HITECH Act” means the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-005.
  • Individual” has the same meaning given to that term in 45 CFR §§164.501 and 160.130 and includes a person who qualifies as a personal representative in accordance with 45 CFR § 164.502(g).
  • Privacy Rule” means that portion of HIPAA set forth in 45 CFR Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A and E.
  • Protected Health Information” or “PHI” has the meaning given to the term “protected health information” in 45 CFR §§164.501 and 160.103, limited to the information created or received by Business Associate from or on behalf of the Covered Entity.
  • Security Incident” means the attempted or successful unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, or destruction of information or interference with system operations in an information system.
  • Security Rule” means the Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Health Information provided in 45 CFR Part 160 & Part 164, Subparts A and C.
  • Unsecured Protected Health Information” or “Unsecured PHI” means any “protected health information” as defined in 45 CFR §§164.501 and 160.103 that is not rendered unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals through the use of a technology or methodology specified by the HHS Secretary in the guidance issued pursuant to the HITECH Act and codified at 42 USC § 17932(h).

2. Use and Disclosure of PHI.

  • Except as otherwise provided in this BAA, Business Associate may use or disclose PHI as reasonably to provide the services described in the Agreement to Covered Entity, and to undertake other activities of Business Associate permitted or required of Business Associate by this BAA or as required by law.
  • Except as otherwise limited by this BAA or federal or state law, Covered Entity authorizes Business Associate to use the PHI in its possession for the proper management and administration of Business Associate’s business and to carry out its legal responsibilities. Business Associate may disclose PHI for its proper management and administration, provided that (i) the disclosures are by law; or (ii) Business Associate obtains, in writing, prior to making any disclosure to a third party (a) reasonable assurances from this third party that the PHI will be held confidential as provided under this BAA and used or further disclosed only as required by law or for the purpose for which it was disclosed to this third party and (b) an agreement from this third party to notify Business Associate immediately of any breaches of the confidentiality of the PHI, to the extent it has knowledge of the breach.
  • Business Associate will not use or disclose PHI in a manner other than as provided in this BAA, as permitted under the Privacy Rule, or as required by law. Business Associate will use or disclose PHI, to the extent practicable, as a limited data set or limited to the minimum necessary amount of PHI to carry out the intended purpose of the use or disclosure, in accordance with Section 13405(b) of the HITECH ACT (codified as 42 USC § 17935(b)) and any of the act’s implementing regulations adopted by HHS, for each use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Upon request, Business Associate will make available to Covered Entity any of Covered Entity’s PHI that Business Associate or any of its agents or subcontractors have in their possession.
  • Business Associate may use PHI to report violations of law to appropriate Federal and State authorities, consistent with 45 CFR §164.502(j)(1).

3. Safeguards Against Misuse of PHI. Business Associate will use appropriate safeguards to prevent the use or disclosure of PHI other than as provided by the Agreement or this BAA and Business Associate agrees to implement administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that reasonably and appropriately protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the Electronic PHI that it creates, receives, maintains or transmits on behalf of Covered Entity. Business Associate agrees to take reasonable steps, including providing adequate training to its employees to ensure compliance with this BAA and to ensure that the actions or omissions of its employees or agents do not cause Business Associate to breach the terms of this BAA.

4. Reporting Disclosures of PHI and Security Incidents. Business Associate will report to Covered Entity in writing any use or disclosure of PHI not provided for by this BAA of which it becomes aware and Business Associate agrees to report to Covered Entity any Security Incident affecting Electronic PHI of Covered Entity of which it becomes aware. Business Associate agrees to report any such event within 30 business days.

5. Reporting Breaches of Unsecured PHI. Business Associate will notify Covered Entity in writing promptly upon the discovery of any Breach of Unsecured PHI in accordance with the requirements set forth in 45 CFR § 164.410, but in no case later than 30 calendar days after the discovery of a Breach. Business Associate will reimburse Covered Entity for any costs incurred by it in complying with the requirements of Subpart D of 45 CFR §164 that are imposed on Covered Entity as a result of a Breach committed by Business Associate.

6. Mitigation of Disclosures of PHI. Business Associate will take reasonable measures to mitigate, to the extent practicable, any harmful effect that is known to Business Associate of any use or disclosure of PHI by Business Associate or its agents or subcontractors in violation of the requirements of this BAA.

7. Agreements with Agents or Subcontractors. Business Associate will ensure that any of its agents or subcontractors that have access to, or to which Business Associate provides, PHI agree in writing to the restriction and conditions concerning uses and disclosures of PHI contained in this BAA and agree to implement reasonable and appropriate safeguards to protect any Electronic PHI that it creates, received, maintains or transmits on behalf of Business Associate or, through the Business Associate, Covered Entity. Business Associate shall notify Covered Entity, or upstream Business Associate, of all subcontracts and agreements relating to the Agreement, where the subcontractor or agent received PHI as described in section 1.M of this BAA. Such notification shall occur within 30 calendar days of the execution of the subcontract by placement of such notice on the Business Associate’s primary website. Business Associate shall ensure that all subcontracts and agreements provide the same level of privacy and security as this BAA.

8. Audit Report. Upon request, Business Associate will provide Covered Entity, or upstream Business Associate, with a copy of its most recent independent HIPAA compliance report (AT-C 315), HITRUST certification or other mutually agreed upon independent standards based third party audit report. Covered Entity agrees not to re-disclose Business Associate’s audit report.

9. Access to PHI by Individuals.

  • Upon request, Business Associate agrees to furnish Covered Entity with copies of the PHI maintained by Business Associate in a Designated Record Set in the time and manner designated by Covered Entity to enable Covered Entity to respond to an Individual’s request for access to PHI under 45 CFR §164.524.
  • In the event any Individual or personal representative requests access to the Individual’s PHI directly from Business Associate, Business Associate within 10 business days, will forward that request to Covered Entity. Any disclosure of, or decision not to disclose, the PHI requested by an Individual or a personal representative and compliance with the requirements applicable to an Individual’s right to obtain access to PHI shall be the sole responsibility of Covered Entity.

10. Amendment of PHI.

  • Upon request and instruction from Covered Entity, Business Associate will amend PHI or a record about an Individual in a Designated Record Set that is maintained by, or otherwise within the possession of, Business Associate as directed by Covered Entity in accordance with procedures established by 45 CFR §164.526. Any request by Covered Entity to amend such information will be completed by Business Associate within 15 business days of Covered Entity’s request.
  • In the event that any Individual requests that Business Associate amend such Individual’s PHI or record in a Designated Record Set, Business Associate within 10 business days will forward this request to Covered Entity. Any amendment of, or decision not to amend, the PHI or record as requested by an Individual and compliance with the requirements applicable to an Individual’s right to request an amendment of PHI will be the sole responsibility of Covered Entity.

11. Accounting of Disclosures.

  • Business Associate will document any disclosures of PHI made by it to account for such disclosures as required by 45 CFR §164.528(a). Business Associate also will make available information related to such disclosures as would be required for Covered Entity to respond to a request for an accounting of disclosures in accordance with 45 CFR §164.528. At a minimum, Business Associate will furnish Covered Entity the following with respect to any covered disclosures by Business Associate: (i) the date of disclosure of PHI; (ii) the name of the entity or person who received PHI, and, if known, the address of such entity or person; (iii) a brief description of the PHI disclosed; and (iv) a brief statement of the purpose of the disclosure which includes the basis for such disclosure.
  • Business Associate will furnish to Covered Entity information collected in accordance with this Section 10, within 10 business days after written request by Covered Entity, to permit Covered Entity to make an accounting of disclosures as required by 45 CFR §164.528, or in the event that Covered Entity elects to provide an Individual with a list of its business associates, Business Associate will provide an accounting of its disclosures of PHI upon request if the Individual, if and to the extent that such accounting is required under the HITECH ACT or under HHS regulations adopted in connection with the HITECH ACT.
  • In the event an Individual delivers the initial request for an accounting directly to Business Associate, Business Associate will within 10 business days forward such request to Covered Entity.

12. Availability of Books and Records. Business Associate will make available its internal practices, books, agreements, records, and policies and procedures relating to the use and disclosure of PHI, upon request, to the Secretary of HHS for purposes of determining Covered Entity’s and Business Associate’s compliance with HIPAA, and this BAA.

13. Responsibilities of Covered Entity. With regard to the use and/or disclosure of Protected Health Information by Business Associate, Covered Entity agrees to:

  • Notify Business Associate of any limitation(s) in its notice of privacy practices in accordance with 45 CFR §164.520, to the extent that such limitation may affect Business Associate’s use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Notify Business Associate of any changes in, or revocation of, permission by an Individual to use or disclose Protected Health Information, to the extent that such changes may affect Business Associate’s use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Notify Business Associate of any restriction to the use or disclosure of PHI that Covered Entity has agreed to in accordance with 45 CFR §164.522, to the extent that such restriction may affect Business Associate’s use or disclosure of PHI.
  • Except for data aggregation or management and administrative activities of Business Associate, Covered Entity shall not request Business Associate to use or disclose PHI in any manner that would not be permissible under HIPAA if done by Covered Entity.

14. Data Ownership. Business Associate’s data stewardship does not confer data ownership rights on Business Associate with respect to any data shared with it under the Agreement, including any and all forms thereof.

15. Term and Termination.

  • This BAA will become effective on the date first written above and will continue in effect until all obligations of the Parties have been met under the Agreement and under this BAA.
  • Covered Entity may terminate this BAA, the Agreement, and any other related agreements if Covered Entity makes a determination that Business Associate has breached a material term of this BAA and Business Associate has failed to cure that material breach, to Covered Entity’s reasonable satisfaction, within 30 days after written notice from Covered Entity. Covered Entity may report the problem to the Secretary of HHS if termination is not feasible.
  • If Business Associate determines that Covered Entity has breached a material term of this BAA, then Business Associate will provide Covered Entity with written notice of the existence of the breach and shall provide Covered Entity with 30 days to cure the breach. Covered Entity’s failure to cure the breach within the 30-day period will be grounds for immediate termination of the Agreement and this BAA by Business Associate. Business Associate may report the breach to the HHS.
  • Upon termination of the Agreement or this BAA for any reason, all PHI maintained by Business Associate will be returned to Covered Entity or destroyed by Business Associate. Business Associate will not retain any copies of such information. This provision will apply to PHI in the possession of Business Associate’s agents and subcontractors. If return or destruction of the PHI is not feasible, in Business Associate’s reasonable judgment, Business Associate will furnish Covered Entity with notification, in writing, of the conditions that make return or destruction infeasible. Upon mutual agreement of the Parties that return or destruction of the PHI is infeasible, Business Associate will extend the protections of this BAA to such information for as long as Business Associate retains such information and will limit further uses and disclosures to those purposes that make the return or destruction of the information not feasible. The Parties understand that this Section 14.D. will survive any termination of this BAA.

16. Effect of BAA.

  • This BAA is a part of and subject to the terms of the Agreement, except that to the extent any terms of this BAA conflict with any term of the Agreement, the terms of this BAA will govern.
  • Except as expressly stated in this BA or as provided by law, this BAA will not create any rights in favor of any third party.

17. Regulatory References. A reference in this BAA to a section in HIPAA means the section as in effect or as amended at the time.

18. Notices. All notices, requests, and demands or other communications to be given under this BAA to a Party will be made via either first class mail, registered or certified or express courier, or electronic mail to the Party’s address given below:

If to Covered Entity, to:

  • [COVERED ENTITY’S NAME]
  • [MAILING ADDRESS]
  • [ATTN.]
  • [TELEPHONE]
  • [E-MAIL]

If to Business Associate, to:

  • [BUSINESS ASSOCIATE’S NAME]
  • [MAILING ADDRESS]
  • [ATTN.]
  • [TELEPHONE]
  • [E-MAIL]

19. Amendments and Waiver. This BAA may not be modified, nor will any provision be waived or amended, except in writing duly signed by authorized representatives of the Parties. A waiver with respect to one event shall not be construed as continuing, or as a bar to or waiver of any right or remedy as to subsequent events.

20. HITECH ACT Compliance. The Parties acknowledge that the HITECH Act includes significant changes to the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. The privacy subtitle of the HITECH Act sets forth provisions that significantly change the requirements for business associates and the agreements between business associates and covered entities under HIPAA and these changes may be further clarified in forthcoming regulations and guidance. Each Party agrees to comply with the applicable provisions of the HITECH Act and any HHS regulations issued with respect to the HITECH Act. The Parties also agree to negotiate in good faith to modify this BAA as reasonably necessary to comply with the HITECH Act and its regulations as they become effective but, in the event that the Parties are unable to reach an agreement on such a modification, either Party will have the right to terminate this BAA upon 30 days’ prior written notice to the other Party.

In light of the mutual agreement and understanding described above, the Parties execute this BAA as of the date first written above.

 

Covered Entity: _________________________________ Date: _____________

Print Name: _________________________________

Title: _________________________________

 

Business Associate: _________________________________ Date: _____________

Print Name: _________________________________

Title: _________________________________

How to Write

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I. Business Associate Agreement Effective Date

(1) Calendar Date. The date that signifies when the agreement below begins and holds each Party responsible to its conditions must be documented.

II. Covered Entity

(2) Covered Entity Name. The name of the Covered Entity (i.e. a Health Care Provider) is required during the introduction of this agreement. Locate the area labeled “Covered Entity” then display the full name of the Covered Entity as it appears in its legal paperwork and on the books.

(3) Covered Entity Status. The way the Covered Entity’s Organization is classified should be included in this area. Therefore, one of the four checkboxes on display must be selected to indicate if the Covered Entity is an “LLC” (Limited Liability Company), a “Partnership,” or a different type of Entity. If the Covered Entity is a different type of Entity the third checkbox (“Other”) must be marked and the classification of the Covered Entity’s Organization should be documented.

III. Business Associate

(4) Business Associate Name. The Business Associate requesting the health care information will also need identification in the introduction. Locate the appropriate area, then dispense the entire legal name of the Business Associate.

(5) Business Associate Status. The type of Entity the Business Associate operates requires definition to further identify this Party. Therefore, choose one checkbox to establish that the Business Associate is an “LLC,” a “Corporation,” or a “Partnership.” If none of these categories is an accurate description of the Business Associate, select the “Other” box and define the Business Associate’s status as an Entity to the space provided.

IV. Notices

(6) Covered Entity Recipient Information. The address where the Covered Entity may receive all official communication regarding this agreement, the information being shared, and the Parties involved should be documented to Item A in Article 18. This must be a formal address where a signature may be obtained from a Recipient authorized to receive such mail aimed at the Covered Entity. It is therefore imperative that the name of a specific Department or Person that the Covered Entity authorizes to act as a Recipient be provided to the “Attn” line be presented as a part of this address.

(7) Covered Entity Electronic Information. The Covered Entity’s daytime business phone number must be supplied to this document along with its official email address.

(8) Business Associate Mailing Information. Item B has been reserved to present the address where the Business Associate wishes all mail (i.e. notices, communications, court orders) regarding this agreement and all affected Parties to be sent. Notice the “Attn” line will seek the name of a specific Recipient (i.e. An Individual or Department) to whom all such communication sent should be directed.

(9) Business Associate Phone And Email. Furnish the Business Associate’s telephone number and electronic mail address to the spaces provided. Both of these methods of communication should be considered secure and well-monitored since sensitive information may be requested or received using either of these means.

IV. Covered Entity Execution

(10) Signature Of Covered Entity. The Covered Entity that is participating in this agreement must deliver a signature to enter it. Therefore, its ruling Members or the appropriate Department must authorize a Signature Representative to sign his or her full name to this document as well as indicate the current date.

(11) Printed Name And Title Of Covered Entity. The full name of the Covered Entity’s Organization including its status suffix should be furnished in print along with the title the Signature Representative holds with the Covered Entity (i.e. “Vice-President,” “Manager,” “Representative”).

V. Business Associate Signature

(12) Business Associate Signing Process. The Business Associate named at the beginning of this document is also obligated to enter this agreement by signature. Therefore, the Business Associate must elect a Signature Party to sign his or her name and deliver the current date. As the Signature Party representing the Business Associate, and authorized by the Business Associate to do so, his or her signature will officially bind the Business Associate to the conditions above.

(13) Business Associate Identity. The Business Associate’s full name, including suffixes of status (i.e. corp), should be presented during the signature process. Once the Signature Party has identified the name of the Business Associate he or she represents, the title of his or her Office with the Business Associate should be documented.