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KSM Blog | Katz, Sapper & Miller CPA

Increased Importance on IT Security in the Healthcare Industry

Posted 4:00 AM by

IT Security Concept Lock Wires

We hear news reports almost daily of data security breaches from companies, both large and small, that can seriously affect the lives of consumers who frequent these companies. While breaches among retailers, schools and other entities may have drastic consequences, the private nature of information held by healthcare organizations increases the importance of their data security.  

As the use of technology in the healthcare industry has grown, there are now many more cases of private information being leaked. Under the HITECH Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information that affect 500 or more individuals.

Such breaches can be accessed by the public on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website. The public list of data breaches includes the: theft of laptops; theft, loss, or improper disposal of paper files; and hacking of e-mails and network servers. 

Data breaches in the healthcare world can have severe effects on both the individuals associated with the private information as well as the organizations holding the data. HHS’ Office for Civil Rights is cracking down on these organizations, especially if they do not report a data breach.

While most incidences are settled through voluntary compliance, they may result in steep penalties or monetary settlements. Even if a data breach is settled through compliance, it will almost always affect an organization’s reputation in the public eye. 

For healthcare practices concerned about the protection of their patients’ private information, our consulting practice can help. KSM Consulting offers a wide variety of IT security services, including vulnerability assessments. 

For more information on how KSM Consulting can help your business, please contact Matt Snively at msnively@ksmconsulting.com.

About the Author
Lesley Freeman is a member of the Katz, Sapper & Miller Healthcare Resources Group. Lesley provides services in tax planning and preparation, financial statement compilation and analysis, healthcare consulting, and retirement planning. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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