The Audits Are Coming…The Audits Are Coming!

Take Control of Your Medical Records Managing your practice is demanding – managing your documents shouldn’t be! Carolina Records Center services and technologies make it easy to secure and retrieve your patient charts and business documents…and be ready for any compliance audit. The federal government is cracking down on privacy breaches. Since the passage of the HITECH ACT Final Security Rule, the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement has processed over 100,000 complaints. Corrective actions were imposed in over 23,000 of these cases. In several Cases, multi-million dollar fines have been imposed, including a $4.8 million fine levied against New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University In 2014. Audits Are Coming The OCR will soon begin auditing covered entities for compliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The time frame for and the scope of these audits are presently unknown, but it is expected the permanent audit program will audit 800 covered entities and 400 business associates. OCR will likely pay close attention to whether covered entities have conducted, regularly reviewed and updated their risk assessment, as required by the Security Rule. Records Storage   CRC provides economical worry free records storage. Your records will be safe and secure in our secure fully sprinklered warehouse complete with full perimeter fencing, key code access and digital camera surveillance. Costs about the same as self-storage and many times is actually less! HIPAA & FACTA Compliant   CRC is experienced at medical records storage, scanning and shredding. Our facility is secure and our staff undergoes background checks and random drug screening. The opportunity for inadvertent breaches by your staff are eliminated with offsite...

How Much Paper Do I Have?

Figuring out how much paper you have is not that difficult if you just know how much paper is in a various types of boxes and containers. In order to quantify your paper it will be necessary to determine: (A) how many feet or inches of paper you have; (B) how much paper you have in an inch or foot. Once you have both of those numbers the product will give you a very good estimate of your paper volume. How much paper is in a box? Paper is generally sold by the case. Each case holds 10 reams each containing 500 sheets of paper or a total of 5,000 sheets. Each case is packed in a box a little larger than a standard archive box. Bear in mind that the paper is very tightly packed at the paper mill by machinery designed to jam as much paper into the smallest space as possible. Your boxes will contain far fewer pages. According to Staples, each case weighs 20 pounds. A standard archive box measuring 10″ tall X 12″ wide X 15″ long will contain about 2,250 sheets of paper; if the box is packed tightly, perhaps as many as 2,500-2,700 sheets. Basically, paper volume is approximately 150 sheets of paper per inch. In a tightly packed box you will have about 175-200 sheets of paper per inch. A so-called Bankers Box measures 10″ tall X 12″ wide X 24″ long. Using the same formula of 150 sheets per inch, this container should hold about 3,600 sheets. Depth Sheets Weight (Lbs) Case of Paper (new) 5,000 44 Standard Archive Box...

Disaster Planning

Benefits of Data Backup | Disaster Recovery Plan Determines the enterprise critical data to be backed up Establishes the back up process Establishes schedules for backup cycles: daily, weekly, monthly and annually Establishes Tape Rotation Scheme: First IN – First Out (FIFO), Grandfather – Father – Son, Tower of Hanoi Determines which data to be stored on-site and off-site Establishes regular testing of recovery...

Peparing Your Records For Storage

DO’S AND DON’TS OF BOXING There are two basic methods used to keep track of archival records – we call them the Box Marking Method and the Index Method. Box Marking Method The most common method is to simply write the contents of the box on the outside of the box. This is usually done by document type, time period, file number or alphabetically (phone book). The advantage of this system is its simplicity. Other than the obvious lack of detail, the greatest disadvantage is inconsistency and lack of uniformity that can occur when several people do the filing. When the box marking method is used it is difficult to know if a file really exists. For example, medical records use a terminal digit numbering system in which the last digits are the key filing unit. A box might contain a number sequence of say, 08-6801 to 08-6888. However, by the time the box has reached the storage center not all of the files in that number range are necessarily in the box. Over the years, files may have been renumbered, removed, purged or stored elsewhere. Index Method The second method is to number each box and maintain an index of the contents of the box, usually in an Excel file or internal system. The advantage of the Index Method is that each file’s existence has been recorded and the location of each is known. If you use the Index Method, Carolina Records Center can import your Excel or CSV file into our system and apply our records retention tracking to your archived files. We have over 60 user defined file...

Paper Storing Vs. Scanning – A Cost Study

I created this cost comparison because I’ve been confronted many times with the assertion “it’s cheaper to scan [inactive] paper records than it is to store them.” I’ve always answered it with “not necessarily so, and, in most cases, probably not.” But I’ve never had the numbers to back me up; I’ve increasingly felt the need for them, and so here they are.

Medical Records Retention in North Carolina

Medical records are the subject of both federal and state regulations, which may vary greatly. Federal Statutes Billing Records We start with the federal statute that determines the statute of limitations for Medicare (Title XVIII), Medicaid (Title XIX), and Maternal and Child Health (Title V). (42 CFR Part 1003) The Inspector General must notice his or her intent to impose a penalty, assessment or exclusion from health programs via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the respondent. This notice must be made within 6 years from the date on which the claim was presented, the request for payment was made, or the incident occurred. This means that billing records must be retained for 6 years from the time of billing. PATIENT RECORDS Hospitals are subject to the Medicare Conditions of Participation §482.24(b) Standard:  Form and Retention of Record) reads as follows: “Medical records must be retained in their original or legally reproduced form for a period of at least 5 years.” However, since the statute of limitations for civil penalties is one year longer, hospitals generally retain patient medical records for at least 6 years. HIPAA The entities that are regulated by the HIPAA Privacy Rule are referred to as “Covered Entities”. Covered entities are most health plans, healthcare providers and clearinghouses. The Privacy Rule defines the term “health plan” very broadly and among other things covers  most private health plans (group and individual), ERISA employer health plans (except those with less than 50 members and that do not utilize a third party administrator), Medicaid , Medicare and other federal and state healthcare programs. Also included are health maintenance...
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