Document Scanning versus Document Storage Costs

Document storage is cheaper solution compared to document scanning when judged purely on the price and not considering the hidden costs. It’s just a matter of simple math to explain this. The cost to store one box of medical records is approximately $40 per box for 7 years of document storage or approximately 2 cents per page based on a standard 10 H x 12 W x 15 D box containing 2,000 pages. This is compared to a starting price for medical records scanning of 5 cents per page.


How much does it Cost for Document Storage in New York & New Jersey

The average cost for document storage is a minimum of $45 a month which covers up to 100 standard size archival boxes. Each additional box is 45 cents per month. The rate for return (up to 3 boxes) to Manhattan is $17 and $2.25 for each additional box. The same charge applies to return the boxes to archives.

What are the Hidden Costs of Document Storage? Though document storage is the least costly alternative, the hidden costs of records storage include:

  • Administration Expenses-Preparing log sheets and sending records to storage.
  • Disasters- Warehouse Fires, Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Flood Surges are some examples of catastrophic disasters which may destroy or impede retrieval of critical files.
  • Expired Documents-These are documents which are stored beyond current use needs and legally required retention period. Maintaining records beyond the legal retention period is expensive and results from documents sent to storage without a destruction date, or the hard-copy log sheets may no longer be available. Literally the organization no longer knows what it has in storage. It is quite costly to pull thousands of boxes from storage and purge the old files for shredding once this occurs. So, companies find it easier to keep paying a monthly storage bill which grows dramatically over time.
  • Onsite Storage-Instead of sending the files to a document storage facility, the company keeps the documents on site within the company. Space is used for storage that was intended for use as corridors or offices. This is costly in wasted space and may cause fire hazards.
  • Retrieval Costs-This is a charge each time the boxes are pulled from the archival company and delivered back to your organization.
  • Security-Documents stored using encryption and secure servers are safer than boxes of paper records.
  • Technology and Expectations-Attaching scanned paper records to electronic medical records or a document management systems offers more convenience and access. Expectations for quite access to medical records have increased exponentially due to the widespread adoption of wireless and cloud technology.

How long do Medical Doctors and Hospital need to retain medical records? State Medical Record Laws: Minimum Medical Record Retention Periods for Records Held by Medical Doctors and Hospitals. Click here for more information http://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/appa7-1.pdf

New Jersey Laws for Retention of Medical Records

1. Medical Doctors

  • 7 years from the date of the most recent entry. N.J. Admin. Code § 13:35-6.5(b)
    (2008).

2. Hospitals

  • Adult patients: 10 years following the most recent discharge.
  • Minor patients: 10 years following the most recent discharge or until the patient is 23 years of age, whichever is longer.
  • Discharge summary sheets (all): 20 years after discharge. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 26:8-5 (2008).

New York Laws for Retention of Medical Records

1. Medical Doctors

  • Adult patients: 6 years.
  • Minor patients: 6 years and until 1 year after the minor reaches the age of 18 (i.e., until the patient turns 19). N.Y. Education § 6530 (2008) (providing retention requirements in the definitions for professional misconduct of physicians).

2. Hospitals

  • Adult patients: 6 years from the date of discharge.
  • Minor patients: 6 years from the date of discharge or 3 years after the patient reaches 18 years (i.e., until patient turns 21), whichever is longer.
  • Deceased patients: At least 6 years after death. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 10, §405.10(a)(4) (2008).