Your Personal Health Information (PHI) is one of the most sensitive – “and most frequently breached” – forms of data today. The federal government and healthcare professionals take patient information privacy in a serious manner. And so should you.
Protect Your Health Information. Take Control
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, your health information is well protected by health care providers, insurers, or other organizations working for your health plan or health care provider. However, it is also crucial to protect the personal health information that you control. Discussed here are five ways you should take control and protect your PHI from fraudulent activities.
- Safeguard Your PHI; Do Not Publicize
Make sure you provide your insurance information and other data only to those offering health care services. Do not let anyone have your Medicare card or insurance identification data without genuine purpose. More and more people, especially the vulnerable ones, are constantly being subject to data abuse nowadays.
“There’s an increase in the number of people approaching Medicare individuals or others, asking to use their medical information so they can go out and purchase medical services,” said Connie Schweyen – principal of healthcare at Verizon. And this is one of the biggest reasons behind misuse, fraud, and a waste of valuable personal health information.
- Ensure Your Health Care Provider offers Advanced Data Security Solution
Before choosing a medical provider, it is vital to inquire whether they have a solid data security solution in place. This is important because, until today, many providers do not have any clue about patient information privacy. Ask if your PHI is double-encrypted or not. Do they use a vendor for data security? If so, check the reputation of the vendor online.
According to HIPAA security regulations, all electronic personal health information should be encrypted to the standards of NIST and stored on a highly secure server. Healthcare providers should also provide dedicated HIPAA training to their staff on how to transmit electronic PHI in a secure manner.
These are some ways you can ensure your PHI is well-protected with your medical care provider.
- Keep Your Medical Records Accurate
Even if your health care provider uses electronic medical record, as a patient, it is your responsibility to monitor your data. You have the option to use PHI service or you can also maintain a written record of all medications and services you have received. It is just about verifying your personal data with what the provider has in their records.
It is crucial because often physicians tend to fabricate health record data to bill the medical insurance high.
- Inquire Who Has Access to Your Personal Health Data
Make sure only those who are authorized and provide medical service have access to your PHI. Ask your medical provider who has access to your data, where it is stored, and how it moves around across different departments.
- Say “No” to Free Medical Services
A common fraud prevalent today is offering healthcare services for free and taking people’s medical information in exchange. The allure of free health services or equipment often invokes people to sign up for subscriptions, thus, exposing their PHI to unauthorized people.
sepStream® offers scalable, intuitive and affordable EMR/RIS/PACS solutions powered by highly encrypted data security solutions that help prevent unauthorized access and fraudulent activities related to patient’s radiology information.