Not only in any case of a business but also in different sections of company-related issues, a business associate is a very important fact. This is why students of business and accountings often try hard to obtain a business associate degree. At present, it has become a relevant subject to study on.
A business associate is an issue of different significance. So, it is not very easy to learn every single factor of a business associate. Many of our followers often want us to make content on the role, functions, and other issues related to a business associate clear. For this reason, today, I decided to provide you with the proper idea of a business associate.
Whether you are new in the business world or want to learn more about it, I recommend you this content to concentrate on. Because with the term, businessmen associate, a big number of business-related issues are linked up which will also be discussed here. So, don’t skip a single word and try to understand everything properly.
First, we will understand what is a business associate. Next to what, we will learn about the different functions of a business associate. If any word or issue of this content bothers you or just make you confused, don’t forget to inform us. So, let’s see what is a business associate.
What is a Business Associate?
According to the name, we can get a hint of the business associate definition. The name says a business associate must be someone or something related to the business or business issue. Yes, that’s right. A business associate can be a person or an organization. But anyone related to the business is not a business associate. His\her functions will decide if he or she is suitable for the position.
However, a business associate is the entity or person who mainly performs a given set of functions or roles by the company policy. But the point is that the functions are involved with the use or disclosure of the protected health information which people shortly call PHI. And also, the business associate performs his functions or activities on behalf of a covered entity.
Here, the covered entity stands for different health plans, health care providers, or something like that. Also, many covered entities are not directly associated with such health issues. Instead, they use different services from other organizations. When these services are involving PHI or protected health information, then it will be a business associate.
So, to enhance the business associate definition with accuracy, we can say that the person or the entity who generally creates, maintains, receives, and transmits protected health information on behalf of a covered entity are the business associate.
Examples of a Business Associate
I have already said that anybody cannot be a business associate. Though a business associate is closely related to the covered entity, any member of the workforce involving the covered entity cannot be a business associate. In this case, the health care providers, planners, other activists of another entity can be the business associate. Here, I have listed the activists that can play the roles of a business associate.
- An assistant health planner or a planner himself of a third-party association.
- An accounting service provider of a CPA firm who performs as a health care provider involved with the protected health information.
- A health specialist or consultant who plays a great role in planning the utilization of a hospital.
- An attorney providing legal services to a health care association, involving with the protected health information.
- A health care clearinghouse.
- An independent and formal medical transcriptionist.
- A planner of a health care pharmacist network.
However, the functions of a business associate can describe the position more clearly. But there is a complex fact regarding the same position as a business associate. Because other than the PHI issue, there are different kinds of business associates. Let’s see what are those matter of exceptions.
Business associate without the PHI issue.
A business associate is not always related to the PHI that means Private Health Information. But most of the time, the position of a business associate indicates the one which is closely associated with the PHI.
However, following various business specialists, a business associate can be any person or organization that is related to any of commerce or business-related issues. Even, those who provide a business service can be business associates.
In general sense, a sales manager, marketing policymakers, planners can be a business associate. But when this term is about private health information related one, then the example will be the different one. Mostly, such a business associate is the center of interest in the general business corporation. This is why we will focus on that case with the PHI issue in this content. Let’s see what are the types of business associates before heading toward the functions.
Types of a Business Associate
Many people want to know about the types of business associates. To be true, a business associate can perform a lot of activities. Many specialists have classified this position following their general activities. But other groups of researchers have found it of only one category. Also, they think that the categories a business associate cannot be authentic enough.
A business associate has a bigger aspect of responsibilities. Most of the time he or she has to perform multiple types of tasks. This is why categories a business associate following their activities cannot be authentic.
But there is a group of researchers who categories this term based on the type of entity. On this basis, a business associate can be of two types.
The first type indicates a person who works as a business alone. In this case, the responsibilities are less enough to be handled with one hand only.
The second type is about an organization that performs the duty of a business associate. In this case, there is a group of people in an organization and so, the responsibilities can be a lot than that of that first type.
Roles of a Business Associate
A business associate has to deal with a variety of roles for a business figure. The types of roles vary based on the associates’ qualifications and also the covered entity types. Still, many scholars have set a defined set of roles that should be assigned to a business associate. Check out below the roles of a business associate with PHI issues.
- A business associate must protect electronic Private Health Information.
- He or she has to allow a breach to any integrity or to secure the privacy of the PHI.
- He or she must require all the subcontractors that will meet HIPAA privacy.
- At the end of any service contract, he or she must return the information and sometimes destroy them if necessary.
- A business associate will collect data related to the issues to explain.
- Collected data should be analyzed and processed by the business associate to clarify.
- The business associate should process all the claims for the administrative.
- Billings for the data and administrative purposes should be handled by the business associate.
- The business associate should take care of the selected factors of pricing management.
- He or she should ensure email security and privacy.
- Sometimes, he or she has to assure the utilization reviews for the management.
- Quality assurance is another important task of a business associate.
- Analyzing the benefits manage for administrative purposes should be under the tasks of a business associate.
- He or she should handle the tasks of every repricing projects if necessary.
These are the main tasks or functions of a business associate. When to have a general idea of a business associate, another important fact bearing the name as a business associate agreement or BAA must come forward. Let’s see what is this BAA.
What is Business Associate Agreement?
Without a proper definition of Business associate agreement, an article regarding the basics of the business associate will never bear any authenticity. Because a business associate agreement is one of the basic elements of the whole idea. It is also necessary to know “Who needs a business associate agreement?”
Generally, a business associate agreement refers to the legal documents between a health care provider on behalf of the covered entity and the contractor or any other vendors. So, it quite like a contact paper through which an agreement will be settled with a business associate.
In other words, a business associate contract that means a business associate agreement is simply a written arrangement that mainly specifies both of the associate’s and contractors’ responsibilities when it comes to PHI. In such a case, the contract must describe all the permitted and required PHI that is used for the business associate.
It will never use or disclose the protected health information without the permitted or required issues mentioned in the contract. So, if anyone asks you about what is a business associate agreement, you can easily say refer a legally assigned document that characterized the functions of a business associate with a given role alongside the vendor’s responsibilities.
Essential Parts of a Business Associate Agreement
An effective business associate agreement must include several parts that will enclose the necessary information about it. The most important parts of an ideal business associate agreement are paraphrasing below.
A section to describe the permitted and required PHI using sectors. The Business Associate or the Subcontractor will use that PHI.
A section that will provide the Business Associate or subcontractor contract which will not use or disclose PHI without permitted or required assignment.
A section to require the Business Associate or Subcontractor which will help them to use appropriate safeguards so that they can prevent inappropriate PHI use or disclosure.
- A business associate agreement is not a compulsory element for any kind of business. But some many authorities and organizations require a business associate agreement for their progression. Let’s see who are the people to have a business associate agreement.
- For whom and why a business associate agreement is essential?
- Different purposes and occasions require a business associate agreement. Many people become confused about the purposes of having a business associate agreement. If you are one of them, then you should learn about them need a business associate agreement first. It will clarify the reason of having it properly.
- For any HIPAA compliance program, a business associate agreement is a must-have. So, if you have a share on such a program, you should have a business associate agreement. Also, if you are engaged with any PHI. That means private health information or ePHI that means electronic Private Health Information. Then you must have a business associate agreement.
- Besides, a business associate agreement for different sectors is compulsory for the respective organizations.
In the case of a health-related organization, medical services providing business associate is essential.
For a law firm owner, it requires an attorney service providing business associates.
For a marketing organization, a sales associate can perform a lot.
An electronic service providing business associates is essential for respective organizations.
So, it is clear that the necessity of a business associate depends on the services it can provide. This is the reason; a business associate cannot provide services for every single association or organization. Therefore, the association should check the specialist side of every business associate to make the effort effective.
It’s time to end up the conversation. I think each of the topics is clear to you. You have now a proper idea of what is a business associate and what is a business associate agreement. Also, you know the responsibilities and functions of these issues. Hopefully, there is no confusion about the fact and you find all the answers to your questions about a business associate.
Now, let me know if this content is helpful to you or not. Also, if you have any confusion about this fact, give a knock too. Soon, I will be there to clear it with proper information. Thank you, a million times, for staying with us.