As of February 17, BAs must be in compliance with the security rule and parts of the privacy rule. And they must be entered into contract with covered entities.
"There's no delay on what the actual statute [HITECH] says," Drummond says. "So the statute is effective, and everyone is responsible for being in compliance. … Everyone should be aware that they are currently legally obligated to be in compliance with HITECH today, and there may be other enforcers (state AGs)."
So don't delay compliance, says William Miaoulis, CISA, CISM, HIPAA lead consultant for Phoenix Health Systems.
However, Miaoulis, too, feels enforcement is "a ways off, not only for covered entities but also BAs. … I don't think [OCR] is ready, and they know they were supposed to give guidance."