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Do HIPAA Rules Apply to a 3rd Party Logistics Shipper?

gpalow

Starting to get Involved
#1
We are a 3rd party logistics company speaking with a potential client that creates a device which monitors the health of individuals. We will solely be responsible for shipping these products out to customers. While we do not receive the results or have access to the patient results, do the Hipaa rules still apply to my company?
 
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shimonv

Trusted Information Resource
#2
If all you do is provide one direction currier service - I don't see how HIPPA could apply to your company.

If however you pick up used equipment containing unprotected patient health information you could be liable for HIPPA laws.

Shimon
 

Watchcat

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I don't recommend seeking legal advice from an online forum.

I am not a HIPAA expert, but practically speaking, if you mean rules related to protected health information, it's not clear what the application of this law might look like for a company that has no access to any PHI.

Regardless of the law, if you will have possession of the devices (even if they are packed and sealed for shipping) and, at the time you have possession of them, they could be used to access patient information, that would make me queasy, and I would be strongly inclined to consult an attorney. At the very least, this might get you included in a lawsuit should the patient's PHI get loose somehow. You might also meet some of the HIPAA definitions (e.g., "business associate" that might burden you with something, I don't know.

I'm sending you contact info for a HIPAA attorney via PM. If your situation is as straightforward as it seems, the fee should be nominal. If it is not as straightforward as it seems, then worth every penny.
 
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