To remain compliant with HIPPA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), medical institutions of all shapes and sizes need to retain and destroy various types of medical records and Protected Health Information (PHI). Protected Health Information includes 18 different “identifiers,” which you can learn more about at the website of the HIPAA Journal.
HIPAA requires medical records to be retained for a minimum of 6 years after their last use, but state laws often supersede this requirement, requiring records to be retained for even longer.
This means any paper records containing protected health information can pile up quickly (and stay piled up). It may even be the case that paper records have been kept for decades for some patients. Even if you have switched over to digital record keeping, you may still have years or more of paper records that need to be destroyed.
When it’s finally time to take care of these old records, you need to work with a AAA certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) to ensure your records are properly disposed of.
Interested in learning more? Visit Protec’s article on how HIPAA regulates electronic protected health information (EPHI) and its disposal.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is no particular disposal method required for PHI. However, you are required to, “ensure your workforce members receive training on and follow the disposal policies and procedures of the covered entity, as necessary and appropriate for each workforce member.”
At Protec Recycling, we serve medical institutions in Alabama with both paper shredding and electronics records destruction and recycling. As a AAA certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), we provide secure data destruction that allows you to stay HIPAA compliant and ensure your patient’s PHI is disposed of according to your policies and procedures.
That being said, keep in mind that local and state governments, and even the federal government, will make changes to these laws and requirements from time to time. Always check the most recent updates to local, state, and federal laws before destroying any PHI or medical records.
At Protec, we work with the following medical practices:
From one-time purges to regularly scheduled service, Protec helps you protect your patient’s PHI while remaining HIPPA compliant. To schedule a pickup, call our office at 205-549-2120, or visit our Contact Us page today.