What I Need to Know
HIPAA

In this article we have addressed Title I and Title II, but HIPAA is broken down into 5 Titles.

  • Title I: Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability
  • Title II: Preventing Health Care Fraud and Abuse; Administrative Simplification; Medical Liability Reform
  • Title III: Tax-related health provisions governing medical savings accounts. 
  • Title IV: Application and enforcement of group health insurance requirements for preexisting and COBRA.
  • Title V: Revenue offset governing tax deductions for employers related to company owned life insurance plans.

The requirement that all Protected Health Information (PHI) must be kept secure goes way beyond simply keeping folks away from your work space. It means that all documents:

  • Must be securely locked away when not in use. All PHI must be kept away from the prying eyes of neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers, vendors, etc.  This is true whether you work from home or in an office.
  • That are no longer needed must be properly disposed of.  Having a box under your desk marked “shred” that is seldom emptied - just does not work.
  • Should NEVER be disposed of with your regular trash. Once your trashcan reaches the curb, it becomes fair game for anyone looking for recyclables or personal information.     
  • Must be shredded immediately or disposed of in an appropriate “shredder bin” – one that is totally secure with a lock.
  • Transmitted by fax and/or email must reach the intended person with no breach in PHI.  Include a disclaimer on all correspondence that clearly states that “this correspondence and any and all attachments may contain protected information. If you are not the intended recipient you are prohibited from viewing or using this information in any way.

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