Are You Considered a Business Associate?

Does your law firm handle work that involves Protected Health Information (PHI)?  If so, your law firm may fall under the category of ‘Business Associate’ and requires a list of compliance measures….one of them being your technology.

The HITECH Act requires any business partners who use, store or process PHI to meet HIPPA compliance requirements. That means attorneys are on the hook for upholding the same security and privacy standards.  In 2013, the HIPPA Omnibus Rule was released to extend to business associates using PHI information.  The rule gives providers and health plan companies permission to share PHI with business associates.  This is under the condition that the information used is for the purposes intended and will safeguard any information.  Business associates must sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to ensure compliance.

Technology & Acuity ELM

Technical safeguards must be addressed before entering a BAA. Encryption and security protocol are some of the best ways to keep your data secure.  Cloud-based vendors are very helpful in this area.  Not only is your information more protected, but it is also easier to manage.

Working with an entrusted technology partner is crucial for a law firm to stay out of trouble with HIPPA compliance.  Acuity ELM (Enterprise Legal Management) is an application service provider that helps to manage private web-based networks for subscriber lawyers and their clients.  The application can help with the basic tracking of cases and claims, billing, collaboration, and reporting analytics.  This cloud-based provider follows HIPPA compliance, in addition to an extra added layer of cybersecurity known as the SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II.   This certification means that Acuity ELM has been through an in-depth examination of their controls over information technology and other related processes.

Additional features of Acuity ELM to note are its affordability, it’s rapid turn on delivering system, and consistent updates improving its functionality.  To learn more about Acuity ELM, visit their website at www.acuityelm.com for a free demonstration.   Cloud-based applications such as Acuity ELM will help you to improve your administrative safeguards in your firm, giving you peace of mind that you are encrypting your PHI and other sensitive information.

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