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VBCR - June 2015, Volume 4, No 3 - Value Propositions

The government mandate to transition to electronic health records (EHRs) affects large institutions and private practitioners alike, and although the expanded use of EHRs is inevitable, it comes with significant problems. Cyber intrusion—hacking—is one of them.

Each year, the number of data breaches recorded in the United States grows larger, and according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, in 2014 the “medical/healthcare” industry had more breaches than any other field. On April 8, 2014, the FBI published a “private industry notification” warning of the “likely increase [in] cyber intrusions against health care systems—to include medical devices—due to mandatory transition from paper to EHR, lax cybersecurity standards, and a higher financial payout for medical records in the black market.” (Stolen medical records are sold and then used to file fraudulent insurance claims, obtain drugs, or enable identity theft.)

Every medical practice should reevaluate and strengthen its EHR security because the steps needed to rectify a data breach are wide-ranging and very expensive. As a result of the cyber intrusion threat, cyber insurance becomes another business expense that physicians must consider. Purchasing this type of insurance is usually complicated, requiring extensive research and comparisons, between companies and policies, with understanding what is covered and not covered key to making the right decisions. Sacopulos MJ. Medscape. April 30, 2015. FBI Cyber Division. PIN #: 140408-009.

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Last modified: June 29, 2015
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