Because the health industry is in a constant state of change, new medical tools are frequently invented to help ease workflow. Practices that do in-house medical billing and coding are happy to invest in any medical tool that might make office work simpler – and this, for the past decade, has included online storage of electronic health records.
(As an online medical billing service, we can help you better monitor your revenue cycle management.)
Convenience comes with a price, though – a real risk of hacking.
Switching To Electronic Health Records
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was established in 2009 to aid in recovering the economy. For the healthcare industry, this meant switching to electronic health records by 2015. Practices who failed to do so would face major penalties.
The problem? The focus of the training was learning how to use electronic health record systems. Safety was widely overlooked. The result has been dangerous. Systems across the country are being compromised by hackers.
If you pay any attention to the news, you would have seen the devastating hack on Anthem, and more recently, the UCLA Health System. Those were not the only health care hacks in the past year. The number of health records that have been compromised is devastating. In just the first six months of 2015 over 888 healthcare hacks were made. This resulted in nearly 250 million records stolen.
Why are hackers so interested in health records? They are lucrative. In fact, the personal information found on medical records is worth 10 times the amount of a credit card. When sold on the black market, people can use this type of information to create fake IDs, purchase drugs to be resold, or even file fake claims to insurance companies.
Needless to say, as retailers boost up security measures, and hackers realize their potential revenue with healthcare information, more and more health records will continue to be stolen.
Hire An Online Medical Billing Service
A major reason why practices are getting hacked is that their staff fails to understand their new electronic software in its entirety. Additionally, it takes round-the-clock efforts to ensure full security.
The best bet for physicians would be to outsource their coding and billing to an online medical billing service. An online medical billing service has expertise working with electronic health records and knows how to respond when and if a breach is made. Not only that, but they will know when a breach is made.
Are you interested in taking the next step to keep your patients safe? We would love to help you. Learn more about MEREM Healthcare Solutions.