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Are you protected against cybercrimes?

By Anita Simes, Insurance Advisor, Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.

While electronic health records and the adaptation of new technologies have made significant improvements to the efficiency and quality of medicine, they also can expose organizations to unique risks. The collection, storage and transmission of sensitive medical and financial information present the risk of improper use, exposure or data theft. These data breaches can result in fines, penalties and even litigation—not to mention the damage of an organization’s reputation and patient trust.

A data breach can occur, for example, when a health system accidentally posts patient medical records on the Internet, through unauthorized access by an employee or by theft from an outside party. Organizations also face continuingly complex state and federal regulations and penalties regarding medical and other types of data. Mitigating the impact of a data breach—accidental or malicious—involving the information of a few patients or thousands, can be expensive and involve costs like fraud monitoring, extensive communications campaigns, attorney fees, loss of business, fines and increased regulatory oversight, and other efforts.

In light of the central role that data and data security play in modern medicine and business, it’s important to invest in insurance that will provide coverage if a data breach occurs. According to the “2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: United States” from the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a health care breach in the United States was $402 per exposed personally identifiable record. For a clinic with even a small patient load, that cost could be devastating.

Cyber liability insurance can mitigate the costs associated with:

  • Business interruption
  • Network security breach
  • Internet liability
  • Web content liability
  • Unknown electronic communications

There is no substitute for strong data protection policies and procedures. However, cyber liability insurance is an important way for health care practices to limit the impact of these risks on their operations and their patients. To learn more, contact Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance & Financial Services via insurance@wismed.org or call 866.442.3810.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Medial Society Holdings Corporation or its subsidiaries. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal, financial or clinical advice.

Categories: Insurance Basics
Anita Simes, CEBS, Fellow, Insurance Advisor

Anita has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years and has been with Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance and Financial Services since 2008. She specializes in health promotion/group benefits, specifically working with large, self-funded public sector groups, and has served as an expert witness in arbitration/mediation cases with union/management groups. Anita earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a pre-law emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and obtained her Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation and fellowship status from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Wharton School program. She is a member of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

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