When You Think of PHI Disposal...
...don't just think hard drives or paper. Today, the Office of Civil Rights advertised a $300,640 HIPAA Settlement and a two year Corrective Action Plan with New England Dermatology (NED). NED reported that empty specimen containers with protected health information (PHI) on the labels were placed in a garbage bin in their parking lot. The containers’ labels included patient names and dates of birth, dates of sample collection, and name of the provider. As such, NED failed to properly secure patients' information.
We applaud NED for the integrity (we hope) that led them to report their practice and for working to better protect PHI. We also think that we can all learn from others' missteps and we hope that this post inspires you to ask yourself what your organization does with all (e)PHI that it disposes. Click the graphic below if you want to read more.
Stay (HIPAA) safe, Alan -