In 1996, the US implemented the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as a way to safeguard patient privacy and prevent unauthorized access to individually identifiable Health Information. Also known as the Privacy Rule, the main goal of HIPAA is to ensure health information is protected while at the same time allowing health information to be shared when necessary for health and well-being of the patent and the public. By striking a balance between access and privacy, HIPAA was designed to be both flexible and comprehensive in its application. For individuals and organizations who handle or process medical information, HIPAA regulates how Protected Health Information (PHI) can be transferred, stored and disposed of.
Who Must Comply?
The HIPAA Security Rule applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses and health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form. Insurance providers, HMOs and Medicare/Medicaid are all considered covered entities, as are health care providers regardless of size. In addition, businesses who process PHI must also comply with HIPAA, this includes electronic billing and records management. In fact, most healthcare providers and intermediaries are required to follow all HIPAA rules and standards. The Department of Health and Human Services investigates complaints and enforces compliance.
Maintain Your HIPAA Compliance
Ensure secure and thorough document destruction by taking advantage of the comprehensive document disposal capabilities of an experienced MSP. As regulations regarding the protection and destruction of sensitive data become stricter and more complicated, it’s good to know you can rely on MCF Environmental for secure and thorough paper shredding and document destruction. We handle all ongoing or one time offsite, secure document destruction and paper shredding for healthcare providers, law offices, and other covered entities in compliance with standards set forth by HIPAA.