Whether you’re a solo practitioner or practice in a single or multi-specialty medical group, you as a physician in today’s society are faced with many perplexing business pressures and problems. Fundamental changes and challenges in the healthcare marketplace have resulted from
- declining reimbursement
- soaring malpractice rates
- new federal compliance regulations
- litigious employees
- increased competition from other physicians
- vertical integration
- practice consolidation
- medical insurance fraud
- oversupply of physicians in some urban markets
With ever decreasing practice profit margins, physicians cannot afford to ignore the issues and problems raised by these internal and external market forces.
Medical groups need to focus on safeguarding and protecting the privacy of their patients.
Although there have been several well publicized security breaches, most often these have been of carelessness (lost or stolen laptops, backup drives, etc.).
A member in congress had a personal breach on her medical records. A thumb drive was used by medical staff to copy patient information from a hospital computer they were working on. The confidential medical information was breached when the thumb drive, full of information, was accessed by the home office home computer. Both the home office computer and the thumb drive was not protected.
Employees have snooped on records of VIP patients or a family/friend. When a medical practice investigates and verifies misconduct of an employee, the medical group risks a potential law suit and internal discipline usually is the course of action. Internal discipline also protects the medical group’s reputation and possible fines from the government.
Your competitor could get hold of private information and it was proven the medical group kept the internal discipline a secret from the ‘right patient?’ You can see how the medical group could potentially end up with multiple suits, and also charged criminally.
Competitive nature for new procedures or services being offered. If a company spends its own time, money, and resources developing high-quality procedures, devices, or services, this intellectual property needs to be protected from the watchful eyes of your competition.
Who is to accuse medical groups on ‘spying on one another’ when their main concern should be conducting their own business?
Many different outside interests may seek needed information to protect their investment and client concerns. Medical groups may be susceptible in many ways for possible internal fraud such as deviant business practices by a greedy partner, acquisition by another medical group, over zealous governmental agency subcontractors, agencies overseeing medical and pharmaceutical businesses, their own insurance company.
Medical groups are being looked at as a ‘vulnerable sitting duck’ through the eyes of an ‘information hunter.’ Did anyone ever think of an internal ‘disgruntled employee’ or so called ‘whistle blower?’ Could the compromise activity be already in progress?
Read more on How to protect your private information
You can also read How to Protect Your Medical Group’s Private Information