We understand the need for the protecting your medical files and Identity. From document shredding services to Xray and media destruction, Neighborhood Parcel Medical Shredding service manages medical records and healthcare documents with the highest level of security and in compliance with HIPAA and Massachusetts privacy laws.
Though a homeowner or a small business may well find it in their interest to keep the records, if they destroy them they’re not breaking the law. One may get audited and lack the needed data to defend against any IRS point-of-view. But no penalty is added for not having the data. But medical records have special requirements by law, both for the patient and the doctor. HIPAA and New MA privacy laws to name a few.
Doctors, hospitals and others who offer medical services hold all kinds of personal information about patients. Since many services are rendered on credit, they often have data that falls under laws requiring confidentiality and certain document disposal methods, such as shredding. They also, obviously, keep records about their patients’ medical conditions and histories. That data is considered private and must be kept so. But medical practitioners face a dilemma. They are required to hold on to the data for a period of time. Then they have to make good faith efforts to dispose of it properly and at the right time.
Those periods and conditions differ from state to state, but in general, the period is often many years. Some allow moving paper documents onto long term storage media, followed by the destruction of the paper after five years. Regulations, like most laws, are complex. Once the data on paper has become obsolete, either through death, relocation or other status change, it can be transferred or just destroyed. Which, again depends on specific regulations. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and several other Federal regulations determine the overall requirements and states enact their own specific laws. Agencies then determine the detailed procedures.
Patients, too, find themselves in a similar dilemma. A parent that maintains records relating to a child’s medical condition and/or history may want to dispose of that data a few years after they’ve left for college. Shredding is one of the most cost-effective ways of doing that, but it can often be important to retain the data while destroying the original media. Then, it helps to have a scanner.
If a medical condition or history has played a role in a lawsuit, the issue becomes still more complex. Lawsuits can take years to settle. Even after a judgment is reached, a losing defendant can renege on paying the bill after a few months or years. To enforce the original judgment sometimes requires not just a copy of the original legal documents but the medical records used in the case.
Knowing how to handle medical records requires a knowledge of the applicable laws, combined with some foresight about their possible use in the future. Before you undertake to shred them, be sure you’ve investigated the requirements and your options.
Small businesses in MA, ME, NH and RI have a new choice when it comes to document shredding, most shredding companies will present you with a list of services and fees that can bankrupt your budget! Mydocumentshredding.com has off-site and drop off shredding service that can save you 20 to 65% OFF what others charge if you can drop off your documents at their facility in Lowell MA. The location is safe and secured 24 / 7 and they also offers pick-up service if you are too busy to carry your documents. To schedule a pickup, call 978-636-0301.
You and FACTA
“No matter how careful you are with your personal information, it is necessary from time to time to give this information to other various entities: schools, doctors, banks, etc. Do you ever wonder what happens to that information after you give it away? You may be pleased to know that law, specifically the Fair and Accurate Credit and Transaction Act (FACTA) requires the secure destruction of this information.
FACTA applies to every person and business in the United States, and is the closest thing we have to a national document destruction law. FACTA mandates that consumer information must be destroyed before it is disposed of. No particular means of destruction is specified, but the law states that reasonable measures must be taken to prevent unauthorized access to the information. According to FACTA, these reasonable measures include “burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information” as well as being in “a contract with another party engaged in the business of record destruction to dispose of material, specifically identified as consumer information, in a manner consistent with this rule.”
Handling private consumer information is not something to consider lightly. FACTA imposes hefty penalties for violators, including civil and class action lawsuits on both federal and state levels. A violation could potentially cost a company millions of dollars in fines. In a recent example here in Georgia, a company moved out of a building and left behind many documents containing the personal information of others. The property manager discovered these documents and had them shredded. The company is in the process of being investigated and will most likely be fined.
FACTA gives consumers the right to have their personal information protected, and the law places the federal liability and responsibility for this task on businesses. To remain FACTA compliant and avoid fines, lawsuits, and bad publicity, businesses should take precautions to have private information securely destroyed in-house or by a reputable document destruction company. ” Ezine-Article 2010