How Does HIPAA Regulate EPHI Disposal?
HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) privacy regulations mandate health care professionals and their associates to ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI). Electronic protected health information (EPHI) is no exception.
Types of EPHI include names, social security numbers, license numbers, credit and debit card numbers, diagnosis, treatment information, and any other private and legally protected data that could result in identity theft, discrimination, or harm to one’s reputation.
Any HIPAA regulated entity must have a plan to destroy any data containing EPHI and properly dispose of, and possibly even recycle, any hardware or storage containing EPHI. Hardware and storage devices may include servers, computers, mobile devices, CD-ROMs, and thumb drives.
HIPAA Violations Have Devastating Consequences!
Violations of HIPAA regulations, in terms of EPHI disposal, may be unintentional, but the consequences can be devastating. Failing to properly clear EPHI and destroy or repurpose hardware and storage containing any traces of EPHI could result in costly fines, and possibly even imprisonment, for providers and associates.
Each state has its own set of rules pertaining to the length of time that health care providers and associates must retain records. While it does not have specific mandates for EPHI retention, HIPAA recommends retaining data for a 6-year minimum. Be sure to learn your state’s specific guidelines.
You need a HIPAA compliant electronics recycler to ensure that your media containing EPHI is rendered completely inaccessible. Anything containing EPHI cannot simply go in the dumpster.
Protec Recycling is 100% HIPAA Compliant!
Protec is a 100% HIPAA compliant electronics recycler. We specialize in on-site hard drive, data, and e-waste destruction. Not only is it convenient, but it allows you to verify that all EPHI has been destroyed and/or made completely inaccessible.
We provide secure, green, and cost-effective disposal and recycling of data and electronic assets in Birmingham and surrounding areas. Call us at 205-549-2120 or visit our Contact Us page.