Many covered entities have not yet updated their business associate contracts to reflect new privacy and security provisions under the HITECH Act, according to Mary Rita Hyland, vice president of government relations at The SSI Group Inc., a claims clearinghouse and revenue cycle management software vendor. She spoke during a session at the Medical Banking Institute at the HIMSS 2010 Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta.

Updating those contracts is one of several new privacy and security requirements under HITECH. Other provisions require covered entities to conduct gap analyses, identify and coordinate technical or product updates and conduct internal audits routinely. With the government now providing more resources for privacy/security enforcement, organizations should do those audits before someone else does an audit on them, Hyland cautioned.

She also suggested that banks consider receiving the Medical Banking Project's Gold Seal certification for privacy and security compliance. More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert

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