Physicians Money Digest has published a new article on their website titled, “Cyber Insurance Becomes Necessity for Physicians’ Offices,” about the importance for physicians’ offices to carry cyber liability insurance.  In fact, they went so far as to say that because of the pervasiveness of valuable client information theft in today’s world it’s as important to have cyber liability insurance as it is to have property and liability insurance.

According to a recently published article in the AAP News (The Official Newsmagazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics), there has been a significant increase of hacking in doctors’ offices over the last couple of years.  They cited that, “the source of reported Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) breaches has shifted from theft and loss of individual records in 2011 to theft and hacking in 2012, according to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) report to key congressional committees in September 2014.

AAP News also reported that in 2012, a cyber attack compromised an unencrypted network server containing protected health information for approximately 780,000 individuals. One covered entity even received a “ransom note” offering to restore protected health information that had been deemed corrupt and inaccessible.

Physicians Money Digest said a data breach can damage a practice far more than it could a big business because in a doctor’s practice there are fewer resources and employees capable to handle the fallout. The damage and outcome can be so bad that it can easily put a physician out of business.

Any practice or doctor’s office that stores customers’ personal records on a computer is susceptible to a cyber attack.  If a practice uses a network that is connected to the Internet to store patients’ medical records or payment and insurance information, which most do, then it needs cyber insurance.

What costs can cyber insurance cover?

  • Breach notification costs (including a call center to answer questions from victims) required by regulatory agencies.
  • Credit monitoring for patients whose data has been compromised.
  • Fines and penalties.
  • Attorney fees.
  • Loss of income from network downtime or destruction of data.
  • Forensics and IT services to fix the breach.
  • Data restoration.
  • Public relation firm fees to repair damaged corporate reputation.

Prior to 2014, many physicians’ offices resisted or postponed purchasing cyber coverage. But after the massive data thefts at Home Depot, Target, and other retailers, many physicians now realize a breach can happen to them too and more practices are beginning to purchase cyber coverage. This way if they are ever a victim of a cyber attack they can still stay in business.

See more at: www.insuretrust.com