If you had concerns about your healthcare data in the hands of your vendors, what do your contracts say in regards to getting that data back?
A recent court case required a healthcare vendor to return data to the healthcare entity.
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CommonSpirit Health hired Emerge Clinical Solutions to process and archive protected health information in 2021.
However, CommonSpirit Health began experiencing issues with the data extracts and was unable to reach anyone at Emerge Clinical Solutions.
Healthcare entities need to ensure that their vendors are reliable and often, technology companies can change ownership, structuring and more very quickly.
Because of this, it is essential to learn from situations like the one CommonSpirit Health found itself in, and make sure your contracts offer as many protections as possible.
When entering a new relationship with a vendor that will have access to your protected health information (“PHI”), consider the following:
- What safeguards are they contractually required to have in place? Does your contract specify appropriate privacy and security protections? If not, you may want to revisit the contract and list out stronger requirements.
- How much access will they have to PHI and are you able to remotely terminate their access? The more access and control they have, the higher your standards should be for protecting your practice’s PHI.
- What do their audit logs look like? Can you see a sample audit log in advance? How often will they provide audit logs? You may want to consider what you would need from an audit and make sure they are able to provide your requests.
- Are they able to assign the contract to another entity? You should be aware of assignment provisions in any contract you enter into and if they are able to assign, know what your rights are in regards to notice and termination.
- What recourse do you have if you have concerns? Are there remedies built into the contract? Are you able to get an injunction? Know what your contract allows as far as remedies.
When researching vendors, make sure that you are comfortable with the vendors, your contact personnel at the vendor, and your contract.
Make sure your business associate agreements are up to date with all vendors.
If you need help with your healthcare contracts, contact us today.
If you have questions or need help with your healthcare practice’s legal needs, contact Rickard & Associates today.
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Do you need help with updating your Business Associate Agreement or negotiating contracts with third-party vendors? We can help. To contact us about your Business Associate Agreement, your vendor contracts or your other legal needs, call us today.