04 Jan HIPAA Compliance and Healthcare Privacy
Almost everyone is aware of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). However, some people may be unaware of the major implications for companies that are unable to comply with HIPAA rules. With the addition of the HITECH Act, which encouraged healthcare providers to utilize electronic records for improved privacy, there has been an increase in number of fines and penalties that have been handed out to noncompliant parties. Being on a totally electronic system is often not feasible for many medical companies, which is why it is important to properly dispose of any physical medical records. Hiring a shredding service provider like Greenway is one effective way to avoid fines and stay compliant with HIPAA standards.
Avoid Fines with Proper Document Destruction
A major goal of the HIPAA privacy rule is to assure that individuals’ heath information is properly protected. Stolen heath data can be used to carry out a variety of different crimes, including leveraging details specific to a disease and long-term identity theft. The protection of documents in order to reduce the likelihood of these crimes falls to healthcare facilities, making it crucial for companies to shred confidential information in a secure manner.
Between 2009 and 2019, there have been 3,054 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records (source). That number is staggering – as is the MILLIONS of dollars in fines that have been handed out in response to these breaches. In fact, multi-million-dollar fines for HIPAA violations are becoming the norm. Authorities are increasing their enforcement and imposing expensive case-by-case penalties for willful neglect. With proper document destruction, these penalties and fines can be avoided completely and can leave patients with peace of mind.
Staying HIPAA Compliant with Shredding
Not all shredding is secure and HIPAA compliant. Offices that purchase a shredder often don’t realize there are different kinds of shredders. Typically, a shredder that is placed in an office is a lower level security shredder, while any kind of document that contains confidential information requires at least a super cross-cut shredder. These shredders can shred a paper 400 times, compared to the lower levels that only shred a page 40 times. Utilizing a shredding company that is familiar with HIPPA rules is a great step in the right direction to ensure proper shredding technique.
In addition, reputable shredding service providers can guarantee a secure chain of custody and provide certificates of destruction. This means that you have documentation that can help keep your business safe from penalties and fines if there is a data breach. If secure document destruction and shredding is not your current provider’s core competency, then patient information is at risk.
HIPAA Compliance with Greenway
Greenway’s document destruction services are HIPAA-Compliant and are designed to protect sensitive information. Along with a customizable schedule, our services offer secure, locked consoles for office use to increase the safety of your information until pickup. Finally, by utilizing cross-cut shredding technology, a secure chain-of-custody, and a certificate of destruction after each service, companies can rest assured that they are staying HIPAA-Compliant.
If you need a partner to provide your healthcare company with secure shredding, Greenway can help. We offer fast friendly, and reliable paper shredding. It is more than our business – it is our mission and commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. Contact us today for more information.