HHS Cybersecurity Task Force Report - Healthcare Cyber Security is a Patient Safety Issue

Know Your Customers, Not Their SSNs

The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force just released its’ Report on Improving Health Care Industry Cybersecurity. The report is the result of public and private sector subject matter experts spending the last year discussing and developing recommendations on the growing challenge of cyber attacks targeting healthcare.

Here is the key takeaway … “for the healthcare industry cybersecurity issues are, at their heart, patient safety issues.”

Medical Identity Theft: A Deadly Side Effect of Healthcare Data Breaches

Identity theft, as a cyber security issue in healthcare, is referenced multiple times in the report and is clearly a patient safety issue as recognized by the California Department of Justice Report from 2013 which states that “medical identity theft has rightly been called the privacy crime that can kill.”

While the task force report does not define medical identity theft - when someone receives medical treatment using stolen identification, insurance credentials, or other personal information – the report does acknowledge that, in healthcare, identity theft is different and traditional remedies do not apply:

“The general standard across many industries is to provide one-year of identity theft protection following a compromise of personnel or financial information. The identity protection is only a help for credit-based identity theft, it does not provide the patient with adequate protections based on the sensitivity, value, and permanence of their health care data, which is priceless.”

We couldn’t agree more and that’s why ID Experts’ patented technology for safeguarding medical identities — the first and only member-focused healthcare fraud solution that engages health plan members to monitor their healthcare transactions – is being adopted more and more by executives concerned about patient safety.

With medical identity theft rapidly growing, the report is timely and sets the stage for an ongoing public-private forum to enhance cybersecurity discussions and protections as a critical component for the healthcare industry. More and improved information sharing will help identify potential patient safety risks and solutions available to address a privacy crime that can cause serious injury or worse.

Medical Identity Theft: A Deadly Side Effect of Healthcare Data Breaches