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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2

    Question USPS Mail and HIPAA

    My question involves public health law in the State of: Michigan.

    When snailmail (USPS mail) comes into my office I frequently have claims or other PHI enclosed in the sealed envelopes. I know it's a felony to tamper with mail... but I was wondering if it's a HIPAA violation to have the UNOPENED mail say on my desk as opposed to being locked up. I haven't been able to get a clear answer to this anywhere :/ Also, I sometimes get claims and EOBs that belong to another doctor's office that used to be here and I put them up front to return to the postal worker. Do those need to be locked up as well? Or does mail (unopened) not have to be locked up at all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: USPS Mail and HIPAA

    Mail containing confidential information should be secured. If you're leaving mail unattended on your desk, it's vulnerable. If you cannot secure outgoing mail, consider dropping it in the nearest secured mailbox instead of leaving it on your desk.

    I'm not sure if you're going to get a "clear answer" beyond "best practices".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: USPS Mail and HIPAA

    Thanks so much!

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