Dozens of boxes of medical records found at Odessa Recycling Center

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 newscast.
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 8:36 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 9:02 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Dozens of boxes of medical records found at Odessa Recycling Center

It is unclear how the boxes got there or who is responsible.

Over two dozen boxes of old medical records containing personal patient information were found at the Odessa Recycling Center over the weekend.

How old medical records from West Texas Orthopedics came to be sitting out in the open at the recycling center this past weekend isn’t clear, nor is who’s to blame.

WTO is a part of Midland Health. In a prepared statement, MH said:

“We have a team on-site at Odessa Recycling Center. They have looked through all records and determined that they do not belong to us. The name West Texas Orthopedics has been used by other entities in the past, but these records predate our ownership.”

The age of the documents is important for both state and HIPAA laws.

In Texas, licensed physicians are required to maintain adequate medical records of a patient for a minimum of seven years from the last treatment by the physician – one year more than HIPAA requires.

CBS7 was told these documents are older, which makes them eligible for destruction…

And the state has specific guidelines for that destruction. Guidelines that do not appear to have been followed in this situation.

It is not known at this time who violated these laws, since WTO was under different ownership at a different location, but still has some of the same doctors.

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