Would business associate contracts in electronic form, with an electronic signature, satisfy the HIPAA Privacy Rule's business associate contract requirements?
Answer:Yes, assuming that the electronic contract satisfies the applicable requirements of State contract law. The Privacy Rule generally allows for electronic documents, including business associate contracts, to qualify as written documents for purposes of meeting the Rule’s requirements.
However, currently, no standards exist under HIPAA for electronic signatures. In the absence of specific standards, covered entities must ensure any electronic signature used will result in a legally binding contract under applicable State or other law.
Date Created: 12/19/2002
Last Updated: 03/14/2006