HIPAA Requirements For Shredding Medical Records

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By Boston Document Shredder

If you are a healthcare provider in Boston Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire, you need to meet HIPAA requirements for shredding your medical records. If you do not, you can be subject to fines and penalties. There are several things you need to consider when it comes to document destruction, including a certificate of destruction.

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HIPAA requires medical records to be shredded

Under HIPAA, medical records must be destroyed properly. This requirement applies to paper and electronic records. Businesses that hold PHI must ensure that these documents are destroyed in a way that leaves them unreadable or indecipherable. This includes hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes, and other entities that handle PHI. In order to comply with HIPAA rules, these businesses must shred medical records, demographic data, and patient billing records.

All healthcare practices must comply with HIPAA regulations. Whether electronic or paper, covered entities must ensure the privacy of PHI Medical record destruction is one of the most effective ways to comply with the regulation. The Department of Health and Human Services, which enforces HIPAA compliance, has guidelines for destroying medical records.

While HIPAA doesn’t specify the length of time that medical records must be kept, many states have laws that govern how long healthcare providers can retain medical records. If the state laws require longer retention periods, providers must adhere to them.

Fines for non-compliance

Under HIPAA, covered entities are required to follow certain guidelines regarding the destruction of medical records. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in fines and other financial penalties. The penalties for non-compliance vary and are based on the facts of the case. However, there are some general factors that may affect the severity of the fine.

HIPAA is a federal law designed to protect patient’s health records. It requires an organization to keep records for a certain period of time and to dispose of them properly. Non-compliance can lead to heavy penalties, including fines of up to 1.5 million dollars per violation. It is crucial to comply with HIPAA requirements to protect the privacy and security of patient information.

OCR’s enforcement efforts are ramping up in the coming year. In 2019, there were eight settlements with HIPAA-covered entities, and two civil monetary penalties were issued. Two of these settlements involved failing to provide information in a format requested by the patient or not implementing proper HIPAA Security Rule policies.

Document destruction program

To protect patient health information, healthcare organizations should develop a document destruction program that complies with HIPAA requirements. This type of plan should address the need for privacy and security, as well as ensure that the documents destroyed are irretrievable. This program should include secure hard drive shredding and erasure, and chain of custody for data-bearing assets.

The document destruction service should issue a certificate of destruction that includes a list of items destroyed and the date and method of destruction. This certificate is essential for demonstrating that the documents have been destroyed in accordance with HIPAA requirements. Additionally, the certificate should be linked to the items destroyed, so an audit trail can be established.

A compliant document destruction program should also provide a secure storage option for all PHI documents. This can include locking document cabinets, which store shredded documents in a safe environment until the time comes to shred them.

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Client Testimonials

"Great service and very reliable. I had another vendor that failed to show up twice to collect our medical files that were in storage. So we decided to hire Neighborhood Parcel to shred our medical files. We were pleasantly surprised that the service was timely and the invoice was exactly as quoted.
“After tryingto shred a dozen boxes at our office, we gave up and decided to hire a local shredding service. Everyone we called asked us to wait for 3-6 weeks, we called Neighborhood Parcel of Tewksbury and they were here in 3 days! The best part was the rates, they were hundreds below competition.”
“They came, they cleaned the storage garage and they left! That is how a reliable shredder should be. I read their reviews online and I wanted to add that they have the best rates in Boston, period!. They are small company that still believes in service and transparent pricing. I am happy to recommend them”

Certificate of destruction

HIPAA requires that a Covered Entity properly destroys its PHI. This includes the PHI of any business associates or anyone who may have access to the PHI. Paper shredding is one popular solution to this problem. HHS does not specify who must shred the PHI; it mentions that using a third-party shredding company is an acceptable practice for maintaining HIPAA compliance.

Fortunately, there are a number of companies that offer certificate of destruction services. Many of these companies adhere to the HIPAA requirements, and they will be able to destroy large volumes of hard disk devices while also ensuring that the information is destroyed. These companies use HIPAA-compliant software and will provide you with a certificate of destruction, proving that the information has been destroyed.

HIPAA compliance companies are not easy to find, and some businesses provide data destruction services but may not actually destroy PHI. For this reason, it is important to perform a risk assessment before hiring a third-party data destruction service. Doing this research is a great way to meet HIPAA compliance requirements and ensure that you’re using a certified vendor.

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Boston Document Shredder Editor
In today’s digital age, the risk of identity theft and consumer fraud looms larger than ever, especially when outdated personal and confidential documents are carelessly discarded into household trash. This oversight has fueled an alarming rise in identity theft, transforming it into a widespread epidemic across Massachusetts communities. Recognizing the urgent need for proactive measures, we spearhead Community Shredding events in key locations like Boston and Lowell, MA, where our influence is palpable. Our Community Shredding events are meticulously designed to offer individuals a secure platform to dispose of their sensitive documents. By providing off-site shredding services free of charge, we empower community members to protect their personal information effectively. These events gain additional credibility and reach through partnerships with local media, law enforcement, and government bodies, ensuring a broad impact and heightened awareness around the issue of document security. Beyond these community initiatives, we are committed to making residential shredding services both accessible and affordable. Our competitive pricing plans are crafted with the consumer in mind, ensuring that safeguarding personal information doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Take a decisive step towards securing your private documents and preventing identity theft. Schedule your shredding service with us today by calling (978) 636-0301, and join us in our mission to fortify our communities against the threat of consumer fraud and identity theft.