In today’s digital age, electronic medical records are normal. However, most doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals still handle, maintain and store physical documents that contain private health information (PHI). With medical identity theft on the rise, throwing documents with PHI in the trash or recycling bin should never be an option. It’s actually against the law to do so. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places steep fines on healthcare providers who fail to dispose of PHI securely.
WHAT HIPAA SAYS
HIPPA states the healthcare organizations and their business associates should “maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to prevent intentional or unintentional use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI).” As a result, your document disposal methods must prevent unauthorized access to PHI. Fines for unauthorized disclosure can range from $50,000 to $1,500,000.
WHO HIPAA APPLIES TO
HIPAA rules apply to medical practitioners and to the businesses offering services that involve access to PHI. If you’re a contractor or vendor to a healthcare organization, HIPAA rules and requirements apply to your business.
Outsourcing your shredding to a National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) AAA Certified member is a reliable way to ensure the routine, secure and documented shredding of PHI. NAID AAA Certified shredding companies must meet strict security guidelines verified by an independent Certified Protection Professional, accredited by the American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS). CPP’s assess the following areas during scheduled and unannounced audits:
Employee screening procedures
NAID requirements significantly reduce privacy risks to PHI.
Locked collection containers are placed in your facility to ensure secure and prompt disposal of documents and data. On a scheduled basis, one of our insured and security cleared employees collects the contents for destruction either in one of our mobile shredding vehicles or at our secure facility. After shredding, you’re given a Certificate of Destruction for your records.
American Document Destruction offers HIPAA compliant shredding services for businesses and residents in the Northern Nevada and Northern California areas.