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Compliance Articles

Pharmacies and Medical/Pharmaceutical Waste: What You Need To Know to Protect the Environment and Your Business 

Kevin Webber - Feb 22, 2019 8:29:00 AM

The average neighborhood pharmacy generates a good amount of medical and pharmaceutical waste, and the amount and types of waste they generate has been steadily increasing in recent years as their roles in their communities expand. While those roles were once largely limited to filling prescriptions and selling over-the-counter medications and other health-related merchandise, many are branching out to provide other services.

Topics: Medical Waste- Compliance

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Digital Media Destruction: How to Be HIPAA Compliant

Kevin Webber - Dec 11, 2018 10:10:26 AM

Did you know that a significant number of hard drives bought on the second hand market still contain personal information? Even despite obvious indications that someone had attempted to overwrite the information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that, “covered entities apply appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information (PHI).” This means that your practice must have safeguards in place that limit any disclosure of PHI.

Topics: HIPAA- PHI- Compliance

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What to Look for When Selecting a Shredding Service for Your Medical Practice

Kevin Webber - Dec 4, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Secure management of your patient’s medical records is a process that begins the moment the records are created and continues until the moment they are destroyed. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare providers to regularly shred sensitive documents and proper disposal of all Protected Health Information (PHI) is one of the most vital HIPAA requirements to enforce.

Topics: HIPAA- PHI- Compliance

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Document Shredding: How to Be HIPAA Compliant

Kevin Webber - Nov 27, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Data security is an important area of concern for medical practices and protecting your sensitive records is required by law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets forth guidelines for protecting Protected Health Information (PHI) in the HIPAA Privacy Rule. PHI is defined as information, including demographic data, that is used to identify a patient or provide health care services or health care coverage. Medical histories, test results, insurance information— all individually identifiable health information is included.

Topics: HIPAA- Compliance

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Is Your Waste Generator Classification Correct?

Kevin Webber - Sep 14, 2018 11:27:46 AM

As a hazardous waste generator, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with state and federal regulations and determining your generator classification. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established three categories of generators in its hazardous waste generator regulations:

Topics: Hazardous Waste- Compliance

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Don't Overlook These 13 Mixture and Derived-From Rule Exemptions

Kevin Webber - Aug 17, 2018 7:30:00 AM

The entire hazardous waste identification process can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the definition of hazardous waste exclusions. We’ve put together this list to help you understand the “mixture” and “derived-from” rules and take advantage of ways to reduce your regulatory burden and hopefully, streamline waste management at your facility.

Topics: Hazardous Waste- Compliance

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Why You Should Take Hazardous Waste Handling Seriously

Kevin Webber - Aug 10, 2018 9:28:57 AM

There is enough inherent risk in the hazardous waste handling process without making things worse by mismanagement or non-compliance. If you don’t take the management of hazardous waste at your facility seriously, there could be many risky situations as a result. While some waste management requirements only apply to small and large quantity generators of hazardous waste, all hazardous waste generators should follow preventive measures and maintain compliance with state and federal regulations. If not, generators could face these risks.

Topics: Hazardous Waste- Compliance

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Training Your Hazardous Waste Personnel Must Take

Kevin Webber - Aug 3, 2018 8:15:00 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a comprehensive regulatory program in 1976 to ensure that hazardous waste is managed correctly from the time it is created, through transport, treatment, storage, and until it is disposed. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides the framework for hazardous waste management and qualified states are authorized to administer and enforce the RCRA program within the state.

It’s important that you manage your hazardous waste in accordance with all state and federal regulations. The degree of regulation that applies is dependent on the amount of waste you produce; however, anyone who generates, accumulates, stores, transports, or treats hazardous waste must receive training. When rules change, updated training should be provided. Your hazardous waste personnel are required to complete appropriate training to become familiar with proper hazardous waste management as well as emergency procedures for wastes handled at your facility.

Topics: Hazardous Waste- OSHA- Compliance

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Five Steps to Properly Identifying Hazardous Waste

Kevin Webber - Jul 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Hazardous waste disposal is one of the most important factors when it comes to handling your regulated waste. Because of the “cradle to grave” legal framework that applies to regulated waste, your facility is responsible for the hazardous materials it produces from the moment they enter your possession to the moment they’re properly disposed of.

On a state level, even simple bureaucratic mistakes can lead to hefty fines, like this South Carolina health provider that was fined $28,000 for failing to properly label and organize its hazardous waste. Larger organizations can easily make themselves vulnerable to much steeper penalties, as in the case of Home Depot, whose California facilities were fined nearly $28 million by state and local authorities for sending regulated hazardous waste to standard landfills.

Topics: Hazardous Waste- Compliance

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Three Common Medical Office Mistakes

Kevin Webber - Jul 6, 2018 9:46:05 AM

Managing medical waste is not for the faint of heart . . . and neither is managing a medical office. Your facility’s staff must adhere to strict, sometimes time-consuming medical waste guidelines and regulations while providing the highest level of patient care. You must protect the health of your patients, your employees, and on a larger scale, the community-at-large and the environment. Following best practices in health care delivery, medical waste management, and medical office management can streamline processes and help ensure the best delivery of service in each area.

However, no matter how well your staff follows processes and procedures, mistakes will be made. Handling medical waste can be confusing and your medical office is a fast-paced environment. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common medical office mistakes related to compliance for you to keep as a handy reference. Perhaps sharing these with your staff can jumpstart some helpful conversations related to compliance issues.

Topics: Waste Handling- Medical Waste- Compliance

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