Manager: Dumpsters where medical records were found aren’t private place
|By Rebecca Hanlon, York Daily Record, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
What he used was a public dumpster accessible to hundreds of people who might stop by any given day, said
"We threw them in (the dumpsters)," he said of the records, some of which were found lying on the ground
Four red dumpsters that stand seven feet deep are available to the general public for people to dump old building materials, junk from their garages, or whatever else they choose, O'Connor said.
Customers enter the public site off of
When they exit, they are weighed again, O'Connor said, and pay a fee for the weight difference.
If McCormick filled a dumpster, which is likely based on what appeared in a submitted photo, O'Connor said, all a person would have to do to grab a file is bend over.
And what often happens, is people over-throw the length of the dumpster, and debris ends up on the ground on the other side. Walk around the corner, and you can pick it up.
But the waste authority also has rules against removing anything from the site, O'Connor said. So, when
The Shrewbury Township man has said he did that to protect the files, knowing they contained private information.
"It's not a secure area for private items," O'Connor said. "We have different ways for people to get rid of items of that nature."
The waste authority has a confidential destruction program with most medical offices. In those cases, a representative from the office brings the files and either tosses them in the incinerator themselves, or watches someone do it, and then gets a certificate of their destruction.
He handed them over to the
If you have questions or concerns regarding the medical records found at a public dumpster, the
Reports also can be made to HIPAA at 1-800-447-8477.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is better known as HIPAA.
The act was created to find a balance that permits important uses of information while protecting the privacy of people who seek care, according to the
Medical providers, health insurance companies and hospitals are responsible under HIPAA to protect patient information in electronic, paper or oral form.
That includes the "individual's past, present or future physical or mental health or condition; the provision of health care to the individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual," according to the department.
For more information on the enforcement of HIPAA, visit the department website
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