The Department of Health and Human Services has published new guidance on complying with HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification rules when using cloud computing technology.

The guidance gives insights for providers, business associates and cloud computing vendors. Some of the guidance is basic and well-known to many HIPAA-covered entities. The first question, for instance, considers if a HIPAA-covered entity or business associate may use a cloud service to store or process electronic protected health information (ePHI). The answer is yes, provided the vendor enters into a business associate agreement that specifies how HIPAA compliance will be maintained.

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