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 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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