Is a physician or other provider considered to be a business associate of a health plan or other payer?
Generally, providers are not business associates of payers. For example, if a provider is a member of a health plan network and the only relationship between the health plan (payer) and the provider is one where the provider submits claims for payment to the plan, then the provider is not a business associate of the health plan. Each covered entity is acting on its own behalf when a provider submits a claim to a health plan, and when the health plan assesses and pays the claim. However, a business associate relationship could arise if the provider is performing another function on behalf of, or providing services to, the health plan (e.g., case management services) that meet the definition of “business associate” at 45 CFR 160.103.
Date Created: 12/19/2002