Physician Practice

Q&A: You’ve got questions! We’ve got answers!

Physician Practice Insider, April 19, 2016

Submit your questions to Associate Editor Nicole Votta at nvotta@hcpro.com and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.

Q: We are in the process of building a new office. Would it be HIPAA compliant to have an outside locked mailbox for our general postal mail and therapist paperwork that is dropped off at night? If not, would a mail slot on our front door work better?

A: An outside locked mailbox will suffice to secure incoming mail and therapist paperwork. Ensure that the mailbox is secure and not easily broken into. If the mailbox is secured with a key, it's a good idea to implement a solid key management program to track who has a key. Keys should be recovered when an employee resigns or is terminated. If an employee leaves without returning his or her key, it's wise to re-key the lock on the mailbox.

Editor’s note: Chris Apgar, CISSP, answered this question for Briefings on HIPAA. This information does not constitute legal advice. Consult legal counsel for answers to specific questions.

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