New HIPAA Regulations Could Result in Fines for Chiropractors Says Certified Auditor, Dr. Tom Necela of The Strategic Chiropractor

Seattle, WA, February 14, 2010 --( New HIPAA regulations for Business Associates go into effect February 17, 2010 and most chiropractors qualify as covered entities subject to these new rules. This means chiropractors will have to have a new Business Associate agreement in place to be compliant with the recently changed provisions under the privacy and security rules that impact named covered entities and business associates.

"The first question a chiropractor will ask is: "Am I a covered entity?” Put simply, if you conduct transactions in electronic form, you are a covered entity," said Strategic Chiropractor CEO, Dr. Tom Necela. A practicing chiropractor, Necela now uses his experience both as a chiropractor, a former Insurance Claims Analyst and Certified Professional Medical Auditor to work with chiropractic practices to improve their business and minimize their audit exposure through better documentation, coding, billing and compliance.

Examples of covered entities include chiropractic practices that bill electronically and maintain electronic patient records. Plus, if a chiropractic office uses a third party medical billing service, that firm is considered a business associate. Other examples of business associates include electronic clearinghouses, transcriptionists and accountants.

The bottom line of this new ruling is to protect access to the Protected Health Information (PHI) of patients.

To comply with the Business Associate Agreement update chiropractors should:

Make a list of current business associates and vendors
Identify entities with whom the practice shares PHI
Draft new legal agreements for business associates to comply with the new rules
Update HIPAA privacy & security policies

"If chiropractors are found not to be in compliance during a mandatory HIPAA audit, they could be fined. Depending on intent, fines range from $100 to $1.5 million!" said Dr. Necela

For more information about the new Business Associate Agreement rules and how they affect chiropractors, go to or for more general information on HIPAA, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website at

The Strategic Chiropractor
Dr. Tom Necela
(253) 370-6156