Figuring out the best way to secure your private health information can be challenging. We have become increasingly more reliant on technology, and as a result the risk of hacking has to be considered. In fact, according to The Department of Health and Human Services, there were over 400 instances of health data breaches in 2017 alone. These data breaches can be avoided by following some simple cyber security tips.
The Associated Press reported in 2015 that over the last four years nearly 30 million health records were compromised by hacking. With National Cyber Security Awareness Month just behind us, and our recent partnership with Layer 8 Security, protecting your private health care information has been top priority here at Hafetz and Associates.
In order to best combat the challenge of securing your health care information, CyberScout has three easy pointers on how to recognize a data breach in its early stages.
Review your medical bills: It’s easy to make the mistake of assuming your health care bills are accurate. Lisa Gallagher, a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society cyber security expert, suggests that patients should review their healthcare statements for suspicious charges instead of throwing them away.
Confirm your electronic medical file information: The Federal Trade Commission says that if a hacker has infiltrated your medical files, there is a good chance their information has mixed in with yours. Because this can affect treatment, patients should request their electronic medical file from insurers for review –these records should contain an overview of patient treatments and a list of medications.
Look for debt collection notices: Notices of missed payments on healthcare services from insurance companies or doctor’s offices you don’t recognize are telltale signs of medical identity theft. Other red flags include negative marks on credit reports, or late payments notifications about strange and unknown debts.
The thought of hackers accessing your sensitive health information may be frightening, but with these iron-clad tips you can arm yourself with right the tools to prevent medical identity theft. For more cyber security tips, visit Berkley’s Information and Security Policy hub.