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Quality Shredding is proud to be a member of NAID, the
National Association for Information Destruction and of
ARMA International,
the authority on managing records
and information
– paper and electronic

ARMA
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What to Shred

Protect Your Business and Fight Identity Theft!

For Healthcare Professionals
All other Businesses or Offices
About Records Retention

Protected health information (PHI) is any information in the medical record or designated record set that can be used to identify an individual and that was created, used, or disclosed in the course of providing a health care service such as diagnosis or treatment.

Formal patient records are only a small part of HIPAA regulated PHI (Protected Health Information).  The Government has ruled that PHI includes 18 specific identifiers, which include names, addresses, dates, phone numbers, medical record numbers, social security numbers, health plan or account numbers… you get the idea.  If any of these identifiers are included in any written records (like post-it notes, phone message slips, reports, misprints from the copier, notes on paper) they have to be properly destroyed and not thrown out in the trash.

Quality Shredding has a complete program for Medical and Dental practices to help stay in HIPAA compliance as regards destruction of PHI.  We will provide you with your choice of styles of a locked secure collection container to place in your office.  We’ll train your office staff to know what they can throw away and what has to go into the locked shredding container.  We’ll also provide a formal Document Destruction Policy for your office, we’ll service your shredding container monthly, and we’ll provide you with a Certificate of Destruction every month.  These steps could mean the difference between a Tier A HIPAA violation ($100 fine) and a Tier D fine, which is up to $50,000 per incidence.

Let us help you stay in compliance, for surprising low monthly rates!


The 18 Types of Protected Health Information
(how many of these are in your trash right now?)

  1. Names
  2. All geographical subdivisions smaller than a State, including street address, city, county, precinct, zip code, and their equivalent geocodes.
  3. All elements of dates for dates directly related to an individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death; and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates
  4. Phone numbers
  5. Fax numbers
  6. Email addresses
  7. Social Security numbers
  8. Medical record numbers
  9. Health plan beneficiary numbers
  10. Account numbers
  11. Certificate/license numbers
  12. Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers
  13. Device identifiers and serial numbers
  14. Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs)
  15. Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
  16. Biometric identifiers, including finger and voice prints
  17. Full face photographic images and any comparable images
  18. Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code

An obvious reason to shred is to prevent trade secrets and private information from falling into the wrong hands.  A less obvious reason is that the law says so.

FACTA, or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act is a Federal Law specifically designed to reduce fraud and Identity Theft.  The FTC has singled out Lenders, Insurers, Employers, Landlords, Government Agencies, Mortgage Brokers, and Automobile Dealers... but the reality is that FACTA applies to every business and professional practice in the United States!

The FACTA Disposal Rule states that “any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information for a business purpose” must properly destroy discarded consumer information by “taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access or use of the information in connection with its disposal.”  FACTA defines “reasonable measures” as “burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information” or entering into “a contract with another party engaged in the business of record destruction to dispose of material, specifically identified as consumer information, in a manner consistent with this rule.”


Records Retention can sometimes seem like a sticky topic, but it really isn’t.  In New York State, the retention of formal medical records of former patients is regulated by the New York State Office of the Professions, who set records retention standards for all types of health professionals.

Homeowners and business owners should consult with their Accountants and Tax Preparers for advice on how long to keep business and personal records.  Small businesses can get guidance on records retention from the IRS web site.  Individuals can also get guidance from the IRS on personal records keeping.

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