Lawyers as Business Associates: Here There Be Dragons

If you are a lawyer acting serving a Covered Entity or Business Associate, or a Covered Entity or Business Associate retaining a lawyer as a Business Associate – if you aren’t sure, read this – you need to be aware of the ethical pitfalls and legal risks. In particular, a “standard” Business Associate Contract (is there one, really?) really isn’t appropriate and could create risks to confidentiality and privilege neither party really wants.

I’ve got a form I use with clients where I am a Business Associate, and it varies considerably from the standard to try to deal with these problems. Here’s a presentation I did for the Washington State Bar Association Health Law Section which explains Business Associate compliance for lawyers in more detail: Legal Risks and Ethical Problems for Lawyers under the HITECH Business Associate Rules