Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Overview
- The purpose of the HIPAA regulation is to protect the rights of patients in respect to confidential records. It is meant to improve healthcare information security.
- All healthcare providers, including doctors, therapists, pharmacists and so forth are affected. Also any health plans and clearinghouses are covered by this regulation.
- Any medical records and other individually identifiable health information falls under these guidelines. This information can be paper, film, electronic or media.
- Healthcare organizations need to train employees on procedures and policies about protected records. They must also establish a written procedure for outlining how their organization protects this information and they should designate someone as a compliance official. Expired or outdated records need to be properly destroyed and disposed of.
- Compliance has been mandatory since April 2003. Non-compliance can result in civil penalties from $100 per incident up to $25,000 per person. Criminally, fines up to $250,000 and stiff prison sentences from 1 to10 years.
Burgmeier Shredding can assist your HIPAA compliance program by guaranteeing proper destruction of confidential records, outdated X-Rays and other patient information. Certificates of destruction are issued for compliance records.