New federal requirements for group health care plans were the impetus for a resolution passed Monday by Signal Mountain Council members.
The resolution authorizes town manager Chris Dorsey to enter into a business associate agreement with the town’s insurance carrier, Russ Blakely and Associates, requiring compliance with tighter Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules issued this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The measure requires Russ Blakely to comply with “HIPAA, the HITECH ACT, and all pertinent regulations issued by (HHS) and/or the Final Omninus Rule related to the exchange of protected health insurance information of any individual covered by insurance policies provided by the plan.”
In addition. the contract stipulates, “the Business Associate acknowledges that by accepting the (personal health information) from Covered Entity, it becomes a holder of medical records information under Tennessee state law and is subject to the provisions of Tennessee state law. Of the HIPAA privacy or security rules and Tennessee state law conflict regarding the degree of protection provided for (personal health information), Business Associate shall comply with the more restrictive protection requirement."