Is HIPAA Hypocritical?– As Health care Goes Digital Are Your Medical Files Safe?
Yesterday, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions released a report identifying the risks associated with privacy and security breaches in health care, as well as ways to minimize them.
As the health care system adopts information technology, vast quantities of health care data become available to mine for valuable knowledge. “Medical fraud is a serious issue, and 67 percent of consumers we polled believe fraud has a major influence on driving up the overall cost of healthcare.” said Paul Keckley, Ph.D., and executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
The Deloitte report identifies the lack of preparedness of some health care officers, and explains the impact of a breach. “The cost of a security breach can be damaging not only to a company’s bottom line, but also to the reputation of its brand,” states Russ Rudish, vice chairman and U.S. health care provider industry leader, Deloitte LLP.
The report notes that privacy and security regulations have historically focused on internal security processes, however this has expanded to downstream entities. As health care delivery transitions to performance-based compensation, increased transparency, and increased use of EHRs and personal health records (PHRs), new privacy and security rules, regulations, laws and standards will be added in each sector.
“Healthcare industry stakeholders should act now to prevent compromising sensitive patient data, preserve brand value and avoid substantial financial penalties for violations,” concluded Keckley. “By building in technology to prevent, monitor and remedy data breaches and setting aside operating funds to implement safeguards, the health care industry can confront and contain this growing challenge while also addressing the needs of their patients to help improve the quality of care.”
The full report, “Privacy and Security in Health Care – A Fresh Look,” is available for download here.