According to the National Association of Information Destruction’s research, most doctors, dentists, and health care professionals are unaware of the dramatic new liabilities created by the HITECH modifications to HIPPA. Medical practitioners are now legally required to alert authorities and patients when their personal information has been put at risk.
The HIPAA Rule requires that covered entities and business associates enter into contracts with their business associates to ensure that the business associates will appropriately safeguard protected health information. HIPPA fines were increased from a maximum of $25,000 to $1,500,000, according to the (HHS) Department of Health and Human Services. Fines will be mandatory for certain violations – specifically the disposal of patient information that is not properly safeguarded and destroyed.
To increase HIPPA enforcement the amendment now requires that the State’s Attorneys General be responsible for HIPPA compliance. AG’s have already demonstrated their inclination to enforce data disposal provisions in their states. They are also being trained by the Office of Civil Rights to more effectively enforce HIPPA.
Clearly, HIPAA and related state privacy rules require that a health care entity wipe hard drives of all PHI, or destroy them – the rules require the use of a variety of administrative, technical and physical controls to keep personal health data private and secure. Paper records and documents must be disposed of in a HIPAA-compliant manner (remember: the HIPAA Omnibus Rule makes clear that shredding contractors are business associates under the law, which means that a covered entity contracting with a shredding service needs to be confident that the service knows its way around HIPAA compliance, and the shredding service needs to understand that it now has primary liability for any breach on its watch under the new rule)
Our Medical Data Destruction provides a secure program to assist all medical and health care facilities in the Boston MA and New Hampshire Area. We can ensure that all medical material is properly and securely safeguarded, collected, removed, and properly destroyed.
Frequently Asked Questions by HHS