Opinion by Thought Leaders
Read the latest opinions from tech & business pros across the globe.

3 Things Amazon & Other Employers Need to Know About Health Tech

 

On the one hand, Amazon is no different from other large employers, wrestling with the healthcare benefits cost demon that squeezes both its bottom line and employees’ take-home pay. On the other, no company beyond Walmart has proven better at squeezing costs out of flabby legacy business models.

Amazon’s new virtual health clinic, Amazon Care, allows the company’s Seattle employees to consult with physicians online, schedule follow-up appointments and even set up prescription drug delivery. Once the kinks are worked out of this system, you can bet the farm that Amazon will be figuring out a way to offer similar services to the company’s 300 million active customers.

For this effort to succeed, however, there are three things Amazon – and other employers, for that matter – must keep in mind:

1.  The success of telehealth depends on the underlying care model.

Without a doubt, telehealth can do great things. It gives people the ability to get a timely response to a minor medical concern, and it encourages those who might forgo or delay care because they lack transportation to get medical advice from the comfort of home.

However, the healthcare services delivered via telehealth must be woven into strong, value-based primary care versus creating yet another silo of care. The value-based primary care model gives physicians the freedom to practice medicine in the way they were trained – with a strong emphasis on time-with-patient and addressing underlying health issues, not just treating symptoms – via a very modern online platform. There’s no well-functioning healthcare system in the world not built on this kind of primary care.

Continue reading
  3707 Reads
  0 Comments
3707 Reads
0 Comments

You Need to Know About Your Healthcare Breach

 

A total of 2,701 breaches have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2009, with 138 breaches reported during the third quarter of 2019.  Over 230,588,249 patient records have been affected by breaches since 2009 according to the same data.  This is a staggering number.  For perspective, if these were unique patient records, it would represent approximately 70% of the United States population.  A breakdown of all reported breaches, including the reason for the breach can be seen below in Figure 1.

While theft represents a higher number of incidents, hacking is the reason for 77% of all patient record breaches reported to HHS.  The data makes is very clear that Protected Health Information (PHI) is highly sought after by cyber-criminals.  PHI can be monetized on the Dark Web for an average of $4 - $7 for each record.  The value is greater than that of credit cards, for example, because the personal information contained in PHI does not expire, and thus can be used again and again for wrongdoing. 

Stop-Gap Measures

In my role as a Security Officer, I tell concerned executives that it is a matter of when, not if their organization will be negatively affected by cyber-events.  All hope is not lost, however.  There are important steps organizations can take to ensure they are prepared to respond when needed.  

Conducting a risk analysis is a vital part of a robust cybersecurity program.  This includes a thorough evaluation identifying all threats, controls, vulnerabilities, probability and impact.  By conducting a risk analysis, organizations are better positioned to mitigate threats and prioritize their cybersecurity activities.

Ransomware is often reported as a type of Unauthorized Access, and is one of the most ubiquitous attacks.  While there are countless ways organizations can design a layered approach to protecting against hacking and ransomware, ensuring their backups are air gapped is an absolute must.  This will ensure that if ransomware is successful at infiltrating their environment, their backups will remain unencrypted and thus available.

Continue reading
  17218 Reads
  0 Comments
17218 Reads
0 Comments