Health data under attack
We all know that anything out there on the internet is far from secure - and our privacy being invaded on an almost daily basis - but the stats from this article on HealthData Management are startling and more than troubling."The personal side of cyber attacks on patients’ medical information shouldn’t be lost on healthcare organizations, as a sizable percentage of the U.S. population has been victimized by hacks and face personal expense in resolving the incident.More than one in four U.S. consumers (26 percent) have had personal medical information stolen from technology systems, according to results of a survey from Accenture, a consultancy, released Monday at the HIMSS17 conference and exposition in Orlando.The findings of Accenture’s survey show that 50 percent of those who experienced a breach were victims of medical identity theft and had to pay approximately $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per incident, on average.Unlike credit-card identity theft, where the card provider generally has a legal responsibility for account holders’ losses above $50, victims of medical identity theft often have no automatic right to recover their losses, Accenture executives noted.In addition, the survey of 2,000 consumers found that more than a third (36 percent) of the breaches occurred in hospitals, followed by urgent care clinics (22 percent), pharmacies (22 percent), physician’s offices (21 percent) and health insurers (21 percent).Half of respondents who experienced a breach found out about it themselves, through noting an error on their credit card statement or benefits explanation, while 33 percent were alerted to the breach by the organization where it occurred, and 15 percent found out about it through a government agency.Among those who experienced a breach, 50 percent were victims of medical identity theft. Most often, the stolen identity was used to purchase items (cited by 37 percent of respondents suffering a breach) or used for fraudulent activities, such as billing for care (37 percent) or filling prescriptions (26 percent)."What can the "ordinary" citizen do? Ensure that they at least have all data about themselves on LifeBank - be it on a computer / laptop (still subject to being hacked if care isn't taken) or the fully encrypted off line / the cloud data key.