Why You Should Destroy Private Health Information


Health care providers must be vigilant in taking the steps to protect their clients’ privacy. Medical identity theft is one of the worst forms of identity theft that can happen to an individual, mainly for its ability to cause life-threatening harm to the victim. Health care providers must therefore maintain strict guidelines regarding the handling and disposing of a client’s information, otherwise known as private health information (PHI).

secure shredding services for medical paperwork in San Antonio
With PHI, thieves now have access to the victim’s financial information, insurance information, addresses, and health information. Moreover, that person can now receive medical treatment posing as the victim. This can cause huge medical financial debt for someone. The victim’s medical file now contains inaccurate health information, like the incorrect blood type, what prescriptions is the victim allegedly taking, and whether or not he or she has an ailment or had a surgery that the victim did not actually have.

It's easy to see why incorrect medical information prevents a health care provider from providing adequate care and could result in life-threatening injury. It is absolutely vital that all health care providers in San Antonio are vigilant in protecting their clients’ PHI with heightened security and proper disposal of these materials, be them hard drives or paper documents.

Federal laws like FACTA and HIPAA require health care providers to follow strict guidelines in the handling and disposing of PHI. Health care providers are not permitted under federal law to abandon PHI in dumpsters, which are accessible to the public. Health care providers must ensure that PHIs are reasonably destroyed and rendered illegible so that no other person can gather information from them. 

Key Identifiers Protected Under HIPAA

  • Names
  • Geographic data
  • Telephone numbers
  • Any relevant dates
  • Social Security numbers
  • Medical record numbers
  • FAX numbers
  • Certificate/license numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Health plan beneficiary numbers
  • Account numbers
  • Web URLs
  • Full face photos and comparable images
  • Biometric identifiers (i.e. retinal scan, fingerprints)
  • Device identifiers and serial numbers
  • Internet protocol addresses
  • Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers including license plates
  • Any unique identifying number, characteristic or code
At San Antonio Shredding Service, we follow all HIPAA guidelines for your company's protection. Whether you are looking for ongoing services or just a one-time purge, we can help with any of your medical shredding needs. Our Texas contractors can send shredding trucks to your office and everything right in front of you, or pick your materials up to be shredded at a secure shredding facility. Your shredded materials will then be taken to a recycling mill immediately after they are destroyed, and you'll get a Certificate of Destruction to keep for your records. 

We also specialize in hard drive shredding, a convenient service in which our San Antonio contractors completely destroy all of your old hard drives. Files can easily be recovered on a hard drive, even if you've deleted all your files from them. The only way to ensure your business's security and the privacy of your patients is to destroy those hard drive for good. After they've been chopped to bits, they're melted down for recycling and, once more, you are provided a Certificate of Destruction for your records.

Lastly, if you are a health care organization that is looking to go paperless, we can readily help you with your document scanning project. Our partners scan the seemingly endless amount of records you currently have on file, organize them, and securely shred all your old files in no time. Transitioning to paperless has never been easier with San Antonio Shredding Service.

Don’t Let Your San Antonio Organization or Business Contribute to Medical Identity Theft!

Whether you’re looking for mobile, off site, or hard drive shredding, San Antonio Shredding Service can help your protect the privacy of your clients. Our contractors offer a Certificate of Destruction after completing each job for your records so that you have proof of the security measures you’ve taken if ever the need arises. 

Request a free quote or call (210) 853-5666 to learn more about how you can protect your clients with San Antonio Shredding Service today!
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