Two years ago, over 145 million Americans had their personal information hacked thanks to the Equifax breach.
Has anything changed?
A recently released report from the US General Accountability Office found that four of the biggest government organizations - the US Postal Service, the Social Security Office, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are still using “knowledge-based verification” authentication systems, even though they expose these agencies to widespread fraud.
With simple verification questions about date of birth, Social Security Numbers, and addresses, people can still gain access and change their information within these organizations. And not much is going to change.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it has no plans to eliminate the knowledge-based verification system - it’s what their users want. The VA has implemented some alternatives, but only as supplemental measures.
In most cases, for the largest organizations in America, it’s still business as usual.
Which means no matter how diligent you are at creating safety measures for your EHRs, if you’re dealing with fraudulent data from the get-go, it’s hard to ensure your data is secure.
That makes our job as healthcare providers a little more difficult.
While you might not be able to ensure the data coming into your practice is legitimate, once it reaches you, it is your responsibility to protect it. That’s where you will be held accountable, and it’s up to you to create security measures to keep it safe.
One solution may be blockchain technology.
Blockchain works because it’s an unchangeable system. It guarantees complete record transparency, meaning there’s no manipulating or falsifying information without it being known.
Every step of your processes - billing, payment, processing, testing, results - all of it can be protected by using blockchain. It reduces the potential for fraud, and saves money by decreasing the amount of time it takes to track the processes as it moves from place to place. Third party necessity will be a thing of the past, because it’s easier to share data.
Security may not be in the minds of those closest to the top. But as a business owner and medical practitioner, you can’t afford to follow their lead.
What are you doing to ensure your data is secure?
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