Term Of The Day – Records Retention
The length of time that closed Workers Compensation claims file material should be retained by the insurance carrier, employer, or TPA. Most states have a minimum records retention law such as seven years after the file is closed. I do not recommend ever destroying file material at any time.
There are a few instances of a State Supreme Court decision or new legislation being passed that changes the Workers Comp playing field. For instance, in North Carolina, all medical treatment cases were allowed to be reopened by the claimant. Employers, insurance carriers and TPA’s were scrambling to recreate the files that were older than 10 years. With the scanning capabilities of today’s computer systems, there is no need to destroy an insurance document of any type.
One can buy a scanner for little to nothing that scan thousands of pages an hour. Destroying the paper files may be applicable. Destroying the electronic copies really makes no sense with today’s technologies in place. You can store or backup hundreds of thousands of pages on a thumbdrive to enhance records retention.
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