McDonald Hopkins answers the question "Who is a HIPAA business associate?"

CLEVELAND, Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald Hopkins LLC published a new white paper this week that explains who is considered a business associate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.

Why is understanding the definition of a business associate so important?

These days, properly identifying business associates can mean the difference between a company complying with federal regulations or being in the middle of a multi-million dollar settlement. To complicate matters further, HIPAA rules have changed and the definition of a business associate has expanded.

"We're seeing businesses and healthcare organizations forced into expensive settlements because they didn't realize they needed a business associate agreement in place," says Rick Hindmand, a healthcare attorney at McDonald Hopkins in Chicago and the author of this new white paper. "Some businesses and subcontractors like IT or cloud service providers might not even know they are handling healthcare information, and therefore subject to HIPAA rules. We prepared this white paper because we want our clients and others to have guidance on how to keep their organizations in compliance with ever-changing privacy and security standards."

The white paper, available at, also gives history on how the definition of a HIPAA business associate has evolved and explains when a business associate agreement is needed. The white paper contains updated information from a widely popular McDonald Hopkins alert published in 2013 on the same topic.

McDonald Hopkins regularly publishes blogs and alerts on business and legal topics affecting the healthcare industry. The firm's national Healthcare Practice has over 50 years of experience serving a broad range of individuals and entities in the healthcare industry.

About McDonald Hopkins
Founded in 1930, McDonald Hopkins is a business advisory and advocacy law firm with locations in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. With more than 50 service and industry teams, we have the expertise and knowledge to meet the growing number of legal and business challenges our clients face. For more information about McDonald Hopkins, visit

Deborah W. Kelm
McDonald Hopkins LLC
600 Superior Avenue, East, Suite 2100
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216.348.5733

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SOURCE McDonald Hopkins

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