It is not uncommon for the FBI to go dumpster diving for evidence. But in Hirim, Georgia, a town just outside of Atlanta, the trash is the crime the FBI is investigating.
The problem started when a someone found a dumpster full of medical records. The dumpster was reported to Channel 2 Action news, a local television station. The reporter found that the dumpster was full of medical records. He quickly identified patients information along with addresses and social security numbers. They notified the Hirim Police Department of the medical records. the FBI were notified because there are no local laws that cover privacy.
It appears that the medical records come from two offices that recently moved out of the building. One was and orthopedic office and the other was an office of Family Intervention Services.
The destruction of medical records is a requirement of HIPAA. This can be done by shredding on incinerating the paper. Shredding is more popular because of the costs involved with incineration. The shredding can be done in house or by an Atlanta Shredding Service. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) has stepped up the enforcement of HIPAA privacy laws over the last few year.