Medical waste disposal for clinics, and other health care facilities, in Texas has recently changed. The Texas legislature revised the rules during their 84th regular session, and made them effective as of this past May 26th. If you are not familiar with the changes, and make accommodations for them, you could be facing repercussions in the future.
In Texas, medical waste management includes its collection, handling, storage, transport and processing. The regulations in place are applied to any individual or entity that is involved in any aspect of controlling and managing medical waste. That term – medical waste – refers to treated and untreated waste from health care facilities that contains human and animal waste, bulk blood and bodily fluids, microbiological waste, pathological waste and contaminated sharps.
What Kind of Medical Waste Generator Are You?
In Texas, there are two types of medical waste generators that your facility can be classified as:
- SQG – A small quantity generator (SQG) is one that produces less than 50 pounds of medical waste each month.
- LQG – A large quantity generator (LQG) is producing 50 pounds or more of medical waste every month.
Neither of these types of medical waste generators is required to obtain a permit in order to store medical waste on site, so long as it consists only of waste that has been produced by that facility. Medical waste should be securely stored on site, and not interfere with overall objective of the health care facility.
Can You Transport Your Own Medical Waste to a Processing Facility?
Regardless of the type of medical waste generator your Texas clinic is, you will need to have it removed safely from your facility. If you are an SQG, you can do this yourself without the need of any special permit or registration. An LQG however you will need to obtain a special registration, and submit an annual summary of the medical waste disposal transport.
Both types of medical waste generators do need to maintain records of each shipment of medical waste leaving the facility in the form of a manifest. The information contained in these manifests must be in accordance with state laws, providing an extensive record of the type and amount of medical waste leaving your facility. Most health care providers find it simpler to use separate companies, like MedWaste Management for this purpose.
Not only does working with a third party take the burden of transporting medical waste off of your shoulders, it ensures that you are in full compliance with the myriad of regulations handed down by the Texas legislature. Medical waste disposals for hospitals is an enormous responsibility, and with these new rules, it has become even more difficult for Texas health care providers to keep up and stay compliant on their own.