Doctor reviewing notes

3 financial reasons to secure your healthcare data 

by Michael Campana

Summary

3 good financial reasons to secure data

Time: 2 minute read
Beyond avoiding security incidents, increasing the protection of your healthcare data can pay off in a big way.
 
Acccording to Healthcare IT News1, over the past year, 43 percent of all identity thefts were healthcare related and 61 percent of healthcare organizations have reported a security-related incident at least once. With sky-high statistics like these, it’s no wonder why healthcare leaders are looking to improve their data privacy and security management strategies.

Here are three good financial reasons to secure your data as tightly as possible:

 

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Encryption isn’t cheap, but data breaches cost millions

Yes, it can be expensive to leverage state-of-the-art data encryption and other security measures, but it’s far less expensive than paying the price of a data breach. According to the American Medical Association (AMA)2, HIPAA fines alone can run up to millions of dollars; other costs can include having to pay for a year or more of identity theft protection for every member impacted by such a breach. Indeed, recent cost estimates of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield data will likely exceed $100 million according to CNET3. We’re guessing you have better things to do with that money.

Your reputation is money

As recent history indicates, both inside and outside of healthcare, security breaches can render damage to a company’s reputation. And with value-based care models, patient loyalty and preference are critical income drivers. Healthcare organizations must find ways to securely capture and manage personal health information, or they risk making headlines in the worst way possible. Tight data security measures, on the other hand, can help preserve and even enhance an organization’s reputation among their referring physicians and patients — thereby protecting their bottom line.

​Yes, it can be expensive to leverage state-of-the-art data encryption and other security measures, but it’s far less expensive than paying the price of a data breach.

Do more with less

It’s certainly no secret that reimbursements are dropping and every healthcare provider is under pressure to do more with less money. But taking steps like appointing a specific person to manage data security, and leveraging written policies and new technology solutions, can help to streamline and even automate many aspects of your organization’s privacy and security operation. This can help protect your organization from the financial penalties of failing an audit without disrupting workflows. And of course, think proactive. Proactively reviewing where there might be gaps within your data flow can ultimately save you time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress. 
 

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1 Erin McCann. "Healthcare's slack security costs $1.6B." Healthcare IT News, February 3, 2014. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/healthcares-slack-security-costs-16b 
2 "HIPAA Violations and Enforcement." American Medical Association.
3 "Cost of Anthem's data breach likely to exceed $100 million." CNET. February 2015