Since its passing in 1996, most of us have encountered the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at our doctor’s and dentist’s offices. The act establishes rules that govern the information health services providers can collect about its patients, how that information can be shared, and the ways it must be protected. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees compliance with these rules through its Office of Civil Rights. HIPAA is composed of two sections that deal specifically with the handling of information: The HIPAA Security Rule and the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The Privacy Rule establishes what constitutes personally identifiable health information and regulates how entities regulated by the act collect and use personally identifiable health information. The Security Rule sets the standards for electronic protected health information. Personally identifiable information that is stored or transferred in electronic form must be guarded from unauthorized access according to a regulated set of standards. As a rapidly increasing number of health care providers go paperless, safeguarding and properly destroying electronically carried health information is a growing issue.
To be HIPAA compliant, any organization that handles information governed by the act must demonstrate that they have policies and practices in place to prevent access by persons, offices or other entities that have not been authorized by the patient. Compliance also includes educating staff regarding the standards founded by HIPAA, secured management sites for record storage, assigning unique identifiers to each patient to track use of information and technologies that detect attempts to modify information. Sensitive information is housed on site in accordance with governmental and insurance regulations. When the records or information no longer need to retained, HIPAA mandates that they be destroyed using methods that continue to maintain security and privacy while controlling access. In addition to traditional paper files, hard drives, external storage and backup devices and other electronic media must be destroyed in a verifiably secure way.
At Corrigan Record Storage, we understand the importance of the maintaining HIPAA standards and take pride in maintaining HIPAA certification for our employees. We offer secure, convenient, affordable record shredding and information destruction services for health care providers, businesses and private individuals. Dispose of your files in one of our locked bins, and it will be picked up for shredding on a schedule that best fits your needs. Our specialized equipment disassembles and destroys hard drives as well as full computer processing units, keeping you in compliance and giving you peace of mind. Call 248.344.9185 or 1.800.944.7716 or fill out the form in the sidebar to take advantage of our HIPAA compliant document storage or destruction services.