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Laws Governing Document Storage and Destruction
HIPAA was enacted in 1996 and the mandatory compliance date is April 14, 2003. All hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, health plans, medical billing companies and any other business entity involved in the healthcare industry must comply. The rules apply to all protected health information. The Standard for Privacy of Identifiable Health Information requires that covered entities put in place administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information. One example given of a safeguard for the proper disposal of paper documents containing protected health information is that the documents be shredded prior to disposal.
This Federal legislation went into effect in 2000, the privacy provisions in the law require that financial institutions and insurance companies give consumers prior notice of an intention to share personal information and a chance to opt out of the sharing of such information. The law states that these institutions and companies need to "respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers' non-public information." The language suggested in the Safeguard Rule that paper documents containing such personal information should also be protected and safely destroyed.
This Safeguards Rule requires all financial institutions to design, implement and maintain safeguards to protect customer information. The Safeguards Rule applies not only to financial institutions that collect information from their own customers, but also to financial institutions – such as credit reporting agencies – that receive customer information from other financial institutions.
In general, the Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) to enhance the accuracy of consumer reports and to allow consumers to exercise greater control regarding the type and amount of marketing solicitations they receive. FACT Act also establishes uniform national standards in key areas of regulation regarding handling and disposal of consumer information in the possession of all companies and organizations.
In short, any person or entity who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information, or any compilation of consumer information, for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.
Reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of consumer information in connection with its disposal would include: Implementing and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that require the burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information so that the information cannot be read or reconstructed. Implementing and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that require the destruction or erasure of electronic media containing consumer information so that the information cannot be read or reconstructed.
This law was established in 1974 to insure that government agencies protect the privacy of individuals and businesses with regard to information held by them and to hold these agencies liable for any information released without proper authorization.
The Economic Espionage Act is a very powerful law which helps with the enforcement of properly handling information. This law is the first federal law that defines and severely punishes misappropriation and theft of trade secrets. However, according to this Act, the government will only protect companies who take "reasonable measures" to safeguard their information.
Legislation enacted in response to the high-profile Enron and WorldCom financial scandals to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices in the enterprise. The act is administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which sets deadlines for compliance and publishes rules on requirements. Sarbanes-Oxley is not a set of business practices and does not specify how a business should store records; rather, it defines which records are to be stored and for how long. The legislation not only affects the financial side of corporations, but also affects the IT departments whose job it is to store a corporation's electronic records.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act states that all business records, including electronic records and electronic messages, must be saved for "not less than five years." The consequences for non-compliance are fines, imprisonment, or both. IT departments are increasingly faced with the challenge of creating and maintaining a corporate records archive in a cost-effective fashion that satisfies the requirements put forth by the legislation.
Frequently Asked Questions
RMS offers you superior personal service, second to none. The company is built upon the philosophy of building and maintaining a close personal business relationship with you. RMS works closely with you at all times--even long after the first provided service to you. In order to serve you to the best ability, RMS stays in touch with you to respond to the needs of your company as they evolve. Also, you can always reach a live person at RMS who is ready to help you - do not hesitate.
You have a legal responsibility to keep sensitive customer and employee information from falling into the wrong hands. Businesses can no longer throw confidential documents away. There are federal and state requirements now, along with hefty fines for businesses not being compliant.
Yes. Here's how...
- Reduce personnel - eliminate the cost of salaries, benefits and taxes.
- Reduce liability - count on RMS for proper retention procedures based on your retention schedules.
- Increase productivity - focus on your core business by rededicating your efforts to revenue production.
The facilities that store your important documents are protected by 24-hour security systems with motion detectors, alarms and restricted entry.
We provide on-site document shredding services using our state-of-the-art mobile paper shredding truck. On the schedule you develop with us, our drivers will arrive and shred on-site all paper collected from consoles and bins that are provided by RMS. Our “hands free” shredding process means our employees do not directly handle your documents. The paper is deposited directly from the collection bins into the shredding compartment via the bin hoist on the side of the truck. From there you can watch your documents being destroyed. We will also give you a Certificate of Destruction to help keep you compliant.
RMS complies with HIPPA requirements and strictly adheres to all requirements and regulations for the secured destruction of confidential materials. Our Operations Manual sets forth the policies and procedures required of our drivers to service bins, transport confidential material to the truck, and securely shred the material.
RMS provides a variety of sturdy security containers free of charge to our scheduled service customers. We offer various sized Locking Executive Consoles, Locking 64 Gallon Security Bins, and locking 95 Gallon Security Bins.
No. There is no need to remove staples, paper clips, binder clips, folders, or rubber bands.
Yes. For organizations bound under the HIPAA Regulations. RMS will prepare a Business Associates Agreement free of charge.
Call, fax or email RMS. Be sure to include your name, company name and phone number on all requests.
A typical 1.2 “bankers box” weighs approximately 25 lbs.