Topics: Practice Management
The healthcare industry experienced the second-highest increase in cost-per-breach in 2020 – only second to the energy industry. Whether due to an internal attack, a cybersecurity hacker, accidentally publishing information, or something else, patient data privacy and security are of the utmost importance to ensure.
Keep reading to learn more!
- Why Does Patient Data Privacy Matter to Your Medical Practice?
- Government ID information
- Birth dates
- Contact information
- Physical addresses
- Health insurance information
- Medical record numbers
- And more!
The guarantee of patient data privacy was codified in HIPAA legislation, which set a national standard for the handling, management, and storage of patient healthcare information. This includes several types of information, including:
- Demographic information
- Medical history
- Insurance information
- Test results
- And more!
Patient data privacy is vital to the success of your medical practice for a multitude of reasons, ranging from financial to reputational and everything in between.
Securing your patient data and maintaining strict privacy for your patients minimizes your chance of a cybersecurity breach. Ensuring you have a fortified cybersecurity posture at your practice means you won’t have to deal with the headache of a breach, the long-term consequences of a breach, and the financial cost of one.
For example, in 2019, the average cost of a healthcare data breach was $15 million – and that’s not including the incalculable reputational damage that lingers afterwards. However, healthcare information breaches are unfortunately common so understanding what steps to take in the event of one happening at your practice is for the best.
Firstly, this promotes transparency and open communication between your practice and your patients. This dialogue facilitates deeper trust and engagement with your patients, which benefits your reputation, overall healthcare revenue cycle, and more.
- Notice of privacy practices to inform patients of their HIPAA rights
- A patient consent form policy covering how and when to get permission from patients before using or sharing their personal health information
- A breach policy to indicate what to do in the event of a data breach
- An agreement with vendors to enforce comprehensive patient data privacy compliance
- A request policy for what to do when requests from outside entities come in for your patients’ PHI
- A training policy for your employees on PHI and HIPAA requirements
Protecting your patients’ data privacy is a cornerstone of any good healthcare practice and demonstrates a commitment to their trust in your practice!
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Managing your medical practice’s online appointments, SOAP notes, and medical coding and billing can be overwhelming while also delivering top-quality care to your patients and staying current on healthcare regulations! Streamline your practice management strategy by leveraging a medical billing firm to handle your healthcare revenue cycle!
When it comes to handling your healthcare revenue cycle, the friendly experts at NCG Medical are here to help! We’ve got decades of experience and expertise in your specialty, so rest assured that you’re in good hands. We’ll optimize your revenue cycle, minimize your rejected claims, and put more time back into your life so you can focus on what matters most: your patients.
Let us handle the medical billing burden and contact us today!