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Tag Archive | "Patient Information"

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Doctor Fined $40,000 for Record Dumping

Posted on 16 September 2011 by Total Secure Shredding


Don’t think people are paying attention at the recycling center?

It appears a Charlotte North Carolina doctor recently had to pay out $40,000 for dumping patient files at the local recycling center.

This makes it pretty clear that recycling is not the same as shredding.

1,000 records in 25 boxes containing the personal information of 1,600 patients were dumped by the doctor’s sons in mid-June of 2010.

This comes to a whopping $1,600 per box of records!

Kind-of puts the cost of shredding in perspective doesn’t it? Especially when you could drop off these boxes at a secure shredding facility, such as Total Secure Shredding (for instance), and only pay $4.45 per box. I’d say the total cost of $111.25 for the secure shredding of these 25 boxes pales in comparison to this $40,000 fine.

I’ve personally seen records just dumped off at the recycling center here in good old San Diego. I have to say, not only is this irresponsible with regard to patient information, it also just doesn’t make any sense when you now consider the hefty fines that are being handed out by Attorney Generals.

My rule is simple when it comes to deciding whether to shred or not: When in doubt, shred!

After all, why take a risk with your own identity theft or the identity theft of a patient, client, or employee?

As always, if you have any questions about whether you should shred, please feel free to give me a call.

And until next time… Keep Totally Secure.

Your friend,

Mike
Head Shredding Guy
(619) 295-5474

P.S. Here’s the full article if you’d like to check it out: Doctor pays $40,000 fine for dumping 1,600 patients’ medical records

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Paper Shredding Failure Results in Breach Notification

Posted on 15 December 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

It’s more important than ever to make sure your business, especially if it relates to the medical industry, properly shreds all documents prior to disposal.

On October 4, 2010 the University of Tennessee Medical Center became aware of a “daily administrative report” that was disposed of through the hospital’s regular trash as opposed to proper shredding.

Contained within the report was “certain patient-related information, including the patient’s name and social security number.”

As a result, 8,000 patients had to be notified of the potential privacy breach as required with the HIPAA/HITECH health data breach notification provision.

Early next year (February 18th to be exact), this same breach in patient information could lead to fine’s reaching a potential maximum of $1.5 million. This new HITECH mandatory fine structure kicks into effect if it is determined that the information breach is a result of “willful neglect.”

The UT Medical Center’s West Knoxville billing office also reported a computer stolen in August 2005. The hard drive on stolen computer contained “patient names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates.” Letters from the hospital were sent to the people who’s information was believed to be on the hard drive.

In either event, with the new HITECH laws and fines coming on-line in the coming year, it’s extremely important for health organization to have proper document/information handling and destruction policies in place.

Step 1: Make sure you have a written document destruction policy in place.

Step 2: Make sure all employees are properly trained on your companies policies.

Step 3: Make sure someone at your organization is responsible for implementing and auditing your companies policy and training.

If you ever have any questions with regard to setting up a proper document destruction policy and training program, please feel free to contact us and I’d be glad to help.

Until next time…

Keep Totally Secure,

Mike
Head Shredding Guy

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