Healthcare Data Breaches Add Up to Big Bucks

Healthcare companies face expenses in seven different categories, with total dollar losses averaging $4 million, in the event of a data breach, according to a whitepaper published recently.

The categories include forensics, notification, lawsuits, lost business, brand value, HIPAA fines, and post-breach costs, according to Protenus, a company that helps healthcare organizations secure patient data.

Lost business is, by far, the largest expense, costing healthcare organizations as much as $3.7 million per breach. HIPAA fines, lawsuits, and forensics are the next three most expensive categories, according to the whitepaper.

Nine in 10 hospitals nationwide have reported a breach in the past two years and the total dollar amount of breaches in the healthcare industry cost more than $6 billion annually.

For collection agencies, this information serves two purposes. It is something that can be shared with clients to educate and inform them about the importance of data security and it should also serve as a reminder that the information provided to collection agencies by healthcare providers needs to be kept secure. Hospitals are legally required to notify the media in the event of any breach involving people.


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