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I am trying to clearly understand the HIPAA regulations a court reporting company must adhere to.

Let's say the court reporting company does not directly contract with any covered entities but does contract with law firms who would be considered a business associate of the covered entity. Would the court reporting company also be considered a BA of the covered entity because they do work for the law firm? Or would they be considered a BA of the law firm itself? If that is would the HIPAA requirements of the court reporting company change at all?

Also, being that the court reporting company only works directly with the law firm which is a BA of the covered entity is the law firm required to have the court reporting company sign a business associate agreement?

I am just trying to understand this process better. Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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IANAL, however as far as I understand it, it would depend if the court reporting company received access to any HIPAA protected information or not. You do not get a business association for HIPAA purposes unless you are exchanging HIPAA protected data. If you are, then you need to follow the BA standards for protecting the data assuming you don't otherwise do anything with the data that requires further levels of protection.

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A service provider of a BA that "creates, receives, maintains, or transmits protected health information on behalf of the business associate" is also a business associate (aka business associate subcontractor). However, they are a downline business associate of the BA not of the BA's upline covered entity. The relationship is between the BA and the subcontractor and requires a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) between the BA and the subcontractor and requires the subcontractor to comply with the HIPAA regulations as well. I've included the Fed. Reg's. below.

Reference: CFR §160.103, Business Associate (1)(ii) CFR §160.103, Business Associates (3)(iii) CFR §160.103, Subcontractor

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