The Cloud and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Definitions, Contract Issues, Business Associates, and Common Problems

Event ID:69184

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Download (DL)     $299.00 includes recorded presentation, slides, and Q&A
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter: Christine Williams, founder, Health Plan Plain Talk
Price: $299.00, DL includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
CE Credits: This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
Who Should Attend? HR, employee benefits, financial officers, in-house counsel, and CEOs

Employers are increasingly moving data to the cloud, often including health plan data that is Protected Health Information (PHI). The cloud can offer advantages, including reduced costs and easy scalability to match increasing or decreasing needs, but can also present issues when the data stored requires special protections. Cloud providers that store PHI are business associates, as defined by HIPAA, and employers that move PHI to the cloud must be sure they have in place business associate agreements that include the provisions required by HIPAA as well as other provisions unique to cloud contracts. In addition, most cloud vendors offer a variety of services from which their clients can pick and choose—making it important for employers that sponsor health plans to understand which services they need and to make the right choices.

Please join Christine Williams, founder of Health Plan Plain Talk, as she discusses PHI and the cloud and offers tips for using the cloud for health plan data.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Where is the cloud and how to get there
  • Cloud service models and what each provides
  • Advantages and disadvantages of moving data to the cloud
  • The demise of the conduit exception
  • Business associate agreements and cloud vendors, including “no-view” storage
  • Encryption in the cloud
  • Service level guarantees and other contract provisions that should be considered
  • Choosing the right tools and settings from those offered by the cloud vendor
  • Understanding the division of labor between the cloud vendor and the employer
  • Resources available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the International Standards Organization (ISO)
  • Challenges of working with a cloud vendor


Your conference leader for “The Cloud and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Definitions, Contract Issues, Business Associates, and Common Problems” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams has worked in the employee benefits field since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company, and recently founded, an online resource for benefit plan sponsors and employee benefit professionals. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy, & Security, published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of Thomson Reuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, and benefit plan compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates, and she regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals. Before moving into employee benefits, Ms. Williams was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.


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