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Healthcare Breaches Hit All Time High

According to The National Law Review, April was the worst month ever for reports of data breaches with 44 reports to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  The healthcare breaches compromised almost 700,000 medical records mostly from hacking and IT incidents (66%).  The healthcare industry with it’s significant amount of data is one of the biggest targets for ransomware because those records sell for higher prices on the dark web.

As a recipient of healthcare, we all need to do our part to reduce the loss of medial data.

  • Ask your medical provider how they are protecting your data.
  • Shred all paper medical records

  • Be mindful that if any medical records are on a CD or thumb-drive that it is encrypted and destroyed when no longer needed

  • Avoid emailing medical records in an insecure way (use encryption)

  • Consider whether you want to share your medical records with genetic testing companies, health monitoring companies, or fitness apps, and read the privacy policy before you agree to participate

  • Research the privacy and security posture of medical device companies and whether they have had any recalls or reported any data breaches

  • Ask your provider about his/her data security processes and tell them it is a priority for you

  • If you are storing your medical information through apps or your personal email account, encrypt the data at rest

  • If you are given an option when sharing your information to refrain from disclosing it to others, take that option and limit the sharing

  • Consider requesting restrictions on the access and disclosure of your medical information when you present it to the provider

  • Consider requesting an accounting of disclosures from your medical provider so you can see who the provider has shared your information with (understand that under HIPAA the provider does not have to provide an accounting of disclosures if the disclosure was for treatment, payment or operations)

  • Be careful about sharing your medical information on social media sites.

 

As a provider of healthcare, you have worked longer than most any other industry at keeping data safe, but now the attacks grow more frequent.  It is easy to be overwhelmed and to feel like it’s a losing battle, but there are things that protect your business.  The healthcare sector has always been a top vertical at Integrity IT.  We understand the special nuances of your business and can help you make a plan. We’ve worked in healthcare IT and security from the time before HIPAA to today’s continuing cybersecurity challenges.  Call for a consult, 859-899-8841

We know healthcare IT, because we know healthcare.

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