When you think about paper shredders and the protection they can provide, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you’re worried about an identity thief making off with your credit card information, Social Security number, and so forth. But if you run a business, you need to consider someone else’s privacy: your customer’s. Unfortunately, it’s way too easy for your customers to be the victim of some usurious behavior, but as luck would have it, there are federal laws that are designed to prevent that from happening.
Two of these laws are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and as business owner, it’s up to you to follow these laws to protect your customers’ information. Naturally, this requires some effort on your part and part of that entails using a paper shredder to destroy sensitive information. Read on to learn more about HIPAA and FACTA and discover how a paper shredder can help your business and your customers – and keep you out of legal hot water.
Any business that deals with health-related information must comply with HIPAA regulations which demand that you protect the personal medical information of patients. That means every doctor’s office, nursing home, mental health professional, hospital, and health insurance provider must shred documents when they are no longer needed. This is because HIPAA is designed to protect the privacy of patients and, as a worker in the healthcare industry, you and your office must ensure that your patients’ rights are protected.
Throwing away medical charts, test results, therapy session notes, and the like is a blatant violation of HIPAA and sending your information to an expensive paper shredding service is only asking for trouble. By using such a service, there’s no way you can be sure your patients’ information and privacy are protected, and you could find yourself headed to court if the information falls into the wrong hands. You can avoid this scenario by having a high-quality, industrial-grade paper shredder on-site. Owning a shredder will enable you to ensure the the security of your office’s private medical information, avoid the possibly of legal problems, and save money.
Identity theft is one of the country’s biggest crime problems – according to the Federal Trade Commission, occurrences of the crime went up by 21% in 2008. Luckily, FACTA was enacted to help protect sensitive consumer and worker information and prevent innocent people from being the victims of fraudsters, dumpster divers, and other lowlifes. FACTA is another law that requires the destruction of documents that contain private data. In fact, FACTA specifically has a disposal rule that mandates that every company that possesses consumer or employee information (i.e. credit reports, performance reviews, etc.) must dispose of such information properly. A paper shredder is but one way to comply with this rule. And unlike HIPAA, FACTA affects every business in America, such as mom-and-pop stores, big corporations, universities, and so on. You have a legal obligation to protect your employees and customers from fraud – owning a paper shredder can help you meet that obligation.
Although complying with HIPAA and FACTA regulations might seem like a pain, investing in a paper shredder for your business can help you easily meet your legal obligations. Your customers and patients will thank you and you won’t find yourself in front of a judge. So do the right thing: get a paper shredder and follow the law!