Your security and compliance glossary

All the terms you need to know when you’re trying to get compliance audit ready, fast.

Show filters

What is a HIPAA business associate?

A HIPAA business associate is a person or entity that performs certain functions or activities involving the use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) on behalf of, or through the provision of services to, a covered entity. For example, health plans, health care clearinghouses, and certain health care providers.

Most providers and plans do not carry out all of their health care activities and functions by themselves; they often use the services of other persons and businesses. The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows covered entities to disclose protected health information to these business associates if the providers or plans obtain satisfactory assurances the business associate will:

  • Use the information only for the purposes they’ve been engaged 
  • Safeguard the information from misuse
  • Help the covered entity comply with some of the covered entity’s duties under the Privacy Rule  

HIPAA Rules apply to covered entities as well as business associates. Suppose a covered entity engages a business associate to help carry out its health care activities and functions. In that case, the business associate must comply with HIPAA, and the covered entity must have a written business associate contract or another arrangement with the business associate that establishes the engagement specifics.

Covered entities may disclose protected health information to an entity in its role as a business associate only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions—not for the business associate’s independent use or purposes, except as needed for the proper management and administration of the business associate.

Additional resources you might like:

Security at Every Stage! How to build an enduring security program as your company grows

Join Vanta's CISO, Jadee Hanson, and seasoned security leaders at company's big and small to discuss building and maintaining an efficient and high performing security program.

Ask Me (Almost) Anything: AI & Compliance

What does AI mean for your company’s security compliance program? Join our session on 28 March 9 am AEDT where Matt Cooper, Privacy, Risk and Compliance Manager at Vanta, and Noam Rubin, Sr. Software Engineer at Vanta, will answer (almost) all your questions about AI and compliance.

Automating SOC 2 compliance & more

Join Vanta’s 45-minute live product demo on March 12 at 11 am PST where Devin and Natalie will walk you through the Vanta platform and show you how we automate 90% of the work for security and privacy frameworks, and help you move towards a state of continuous compliance.

Get compliant and
build trust, fast.

Two wind turbines on a white background.
Get compliant and build trust,
Get started