Privacy to personal information is the right if any individual at any part of the globe. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996 to prevent unauthorized access to patient information, and it is something by which all medical-related businesses should abide.
HIPAA is to be abided by all ‘covered entities’ and the term includes:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Insurance Companies dealing with health and medical policies
- Private Practices – General practitioners and specialists, dentists, chiropractors, etc.
- Psychiatrists and Psychologists
- Medical Billing Centers and Collection Agencies
Whether you have two people or two hundred working in the office which deals with medical health records, the security of patient information is important. It’s imperative for all employees to make sure sensitive data is not compromised and exposed to unauthorized people.
The medical information which is considered personal and private and which is not to be disclosed by healthcare centers as recognized by Federal law include and are not limited to:
- Prescription Information
- Medical History Records
- Appointment Logs
- Phone and Voice Mail Message Notes
- Insurance Forms and Claims
- Billing Information
While adhering to HIPAA rules, you need to destroy all the patient information which is outdated or no longer necessary. The destruction of records must be done in accordance to HIPAA regulations and it says that every sticky note, every printout needs to be shredded thoroughly. Simply throwing away papers does not guarantee security – as any unscrupulous person could sift through the garbage and have access to credit card numbers and addresses. One could also hire a professional to destroy documents.