Is Your Shredding Service HIPAA Compliant?

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    In 1996, Congress passed HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).This act protects private health information so that only appropriate entities have access to personal health care records. Health care providers affected by HIPAA include physicians, nursing homes, chiropractors and dentists. Health plans and health care clearinghouses must also stay HIPAA compliant. Proper disposal of patient information is one of the criteria that must be met in order to satisfy HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.

    Proper disposal includes destroying the private information in such a way that it is rendered permanently unreadable. A document shredding service is the best way to ensure the information is completely destroyed. The company used for service should be HIPAA Certified and provide a Certificate of Destruction.

    Document shredding companies offer several services including:

    • On-Site Shredding — During an on-site shred, the shredding service brings a paper shredding truck to your office. The HIPAA certified driver takes locked bins of your documents to the truck for destruction, right on your property. The documents do not leave until they are destroyed, meaning you can watch the whole process to ensure confidentiality of patient records.
    • Off-Site Destruction — If you prefer off-site destruction, the documents are loaded onto a truck and then dispersed to a NAID certified plant where they are shredded. At the time of pickup, you are provided with a Certificate of Destruction.
    • One-Time Purging — Perhaps you don’t need a regular shedding service; in that case, a one-time purging is an effective solution to confidential document destruction. Certified, bonded employees will assist in clean out and handle all shredding.
    • Shredding Events — You may want to consider hosting a shredding event. During an event, community members and business associates can bring documents to be shredded and learn more about the importance of proper document disposal.

    Whichever document destruction method you choose, be sure the shredding service is reliable, dependable and most importantly, HIPAA Compliant.