This past week I sat in on two presentations by different Health Care Practice financial experts who talked about the pressures facing practices and how to meet them. I’m happy to say that I was on the same page as both of them, and have been telling my clients the same things. One of the potential problems both of the presentations made me think about in the middle of the night was what I touched on for non-Health Care Businesses recently. That is information security.
I was talking this week to Keeth Kipp at MWaste, and he’s telling me he is seeing just what I was afraid of, that many of you are still using Windows XP. That is a big hole in your security. Additionally, with the financial pressure that the current state of reimbursements and payments is putting on practices, you now have added potential exposure just from trying to collect the co-pays and fees up front. That’s one more data stream that hackers are going to try mining.
Speaking of which, we are all aware of the data breach in our backyard. Karl Norris of Duolark, an IT security expert, explained it to me that the hackers basically slowly scraped the data they wanted off of emails, and it took a long time to show up. (Which he could have prevented by the way). Karl also told me that Heartbleed, which I know affected Health Care Practices in this area, has not been fixed.
It is really, really difficult to keep a practice independent these days. There are resources available to help, and I recommend that you call on some of these resources to be your support in protecting the nearest and dearest thing to you outside of your family. Like they used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.”