Paper shredding in the healthcare sector is one of the most cost-effective and trusted ways to avoid healthcare data breaches. Medical records are huge data resources that would be an identity thief’s dream come true, which is why Legal Shred helps healthcare facilities safely destroy patient information when it’s time to discard old medical files.
The Ponemon Institute estimates that data breaches cost the healthcare industry approximately $6.2 billion, as some 79% of healthcare organizations say they were hit with two or more data breaches in the past two years, and 45%, more than five breaches. The most commonly exposed data in healthcare breaches are medical records, followed by billing and insurance records, and lastly payment information. Of these, cyber-based attacks remain the number one cause of data breaches.
Medical record retention is an important aspect of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, and so is how these records are destroyed.
HIPAA has increased enforcement and leaves no room for error. Because of HIPAA, there is growing interest in effective and efficient ways to manage protected medical records, but more importantly, how to destroy them and render them useless once they are no longer needed. For the healthcare industry, paper shredding is essential to HIPAA compliance, as is hard drive and media destruction.
HIPAA’s privacy rule does not include medical record retention requirements, choosing instead to defer to state laws to generally govern how long medical records are to be retained. However, the rule does require that covered entities apply appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of medical records and other protected health information (PHI) for whatever period that such information is maintained by a covered entity, including through disposal.
As long as it remains profitable for hackers and thieves to conduct attacks on healthcare organizations, the attacks will continue. All healthcare organizations can do is to improve their defenses and make it harder for hackers to succeed.
Legal Shred protects our customers by providing secure paper shredding and hard drive destruction under the confines of HIPAA, as well as other federal and state destruction laws. More than 40 Federal laws mandate that all business, healthcare, and financial institutions protect the confidential information of their clientele. Legal Shred can help you stay compliant and avoid healthcare data breaches.
Contact us today to discuss service options for your medical records and hard drive destruction needs.