Unforeseen Consequences of a Data Breach

Working in the healthcare industry is demanding, both physically and mentally. This challenging industry also has challenges that some professionals overlook but should take note and monitor. Two of these challenges that are uniquely intertwined but commonly overlooked are data breaches and insurance fraud.

Data Breaches & Fraud

We’ve talked a lot about data breaches here on our blog but not so much on fraud — first, a quick review of data breaches and how they affect your practice. A data breach is when your practices’ data is unintentionally left unsecured, making it vulnerable to hackers. These data breaches are widespread in the healthcare industry because of the lack of security surrounding medical data, but if you have watched the news recently, you know that a data breach can happen in any industry. Most of these hackers steal data to resell on the dark web. Patient information is a commodity on the black market, but doctor information is more valuable, and this is where the fraud aspect comes into play.

Patient data is usually used to create phishing, spamming, and ransomware campaigns on the email information they have in an attempt to gain even more information to exploit through banking accounts and the like. The doctors’ information sold on the dark web is utilized differently, through insurance claims fraud. Hackers will sell complete sets of false documents created from legitimate doctors information. Then the buyer will use this information to make claims through insurance companies like Medicare, Medicaid, and others for false procedures and have the funds sent to a bank account where they can access this money.

Real-World Situations

The FBI’s website features information on how these fraudulent activities work and even recent examples of people who have used these methods to obtain funds. One example is from Utah, where two individuals obtained fraudulent paperwork on the dark web and used it to submit false claims to Medicare for high-end surgeries. The claims were paid out electronically to more than thirty different bank accounts that the suspects opened using false or stolen identities. They used these accounts to launder the money and eventually withdraw cash through ATMs.

Fraud and phishing campaigns seem bad because they are, but a data breach can get even worse. In the healthcare industry, there are very tight rules and regulations that must be followed to remain HIPAA compliant. Data breaches require HIPAA to be notified, and from there, they will perform an audit on your practice. These audits are extensive, will find out how the breach happened, and the following fines can be crippling to any size practice.

How We Help

So how can you avoid these types of data breaches? By reaching out to Medicus IT today! We have more than fifteen years of experience servicing over 1,000 locations and 20,000 endpoints in the healthcare industry. We are the leading healthcare-specific Managed Service Provider (MSP) in the nation and provide a laundry list of services designed to secure your data, enhance your practices’ efficiency, and remain HIPAA compliant all at the same time. If you’re concerned about cybersecurity and HIPAA compliance, then reach out to us today and get your free network assessment. This assessment will determine any gaps in security and HIPAA compliance and help us to build a system for your practice. “We do IT Right!” so that you can do what you do best: take care of your patients.

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