What industry has not had more change to occur in the last few years than the healthcare industry? With the enactment of the HIPPA laws, HITECH laws, Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, state notification laws and the FTC’s red flag rules, how are you handling all of these changes? The movement of medical records to an electronic form so that the mobile devices being used with patients can gain access to private medical and personal data by means of a network security system has hopefully introduced efficiencies and standardizations. But at what costs? I would make the argument that it has brought in a whole new layer of complexities that did not exist even 5 years ago.
Many of the traditional policies you have in your insurance program have not kept up with these changes. Did you know that most likely there is no coverage under your unendorsed property policy for the loss of any of your electronic data? What if you are not able to operate and you lose income as a result of a virus attacking your network causing you to shut down? No coverage again. What happens when a breach of medical data on a patient who has AIDS occurs due to a hack from an unauthorized person on your network security? Not likely to happen? Are your firewalls, encryption and access to company computers restricted and sufficient? Could there be a rogue employee who is upset with you or your organization and that decides to “make you pay” by stealing a laptop or moving data off of one computer onto a flash drive? What if it is simply the theft of stacks of old patient’s paper files that are stored in a lonely, dark area of your practice? We don’t mean to alarm you, but it is a discussion that needs to happen with your insurance carrier and your advisor. In fact, that discussion should have already occurred since these breaches are occurring on a daily basis within the healthcare industry. The expenses involved with simply complying with state notification laws can be significant.
Most General Liability policies or Professional Liability policies provide no protection should the injured party decide to sue on the basis of your failure to protect their private information. We haven’t even begun the discussion of what impact it would have on your image and reputation within the community and with your current patients. Fortunately, there is a solution to consider that does involve a very proactive approach to this real problem. Please read our link under our Specialty Programs tab for Privacy Breach and Network Liability. It is absolutely necessary to have this protection.
Carolina Insurance Solutions (CIS) has the numerous solutions available for the healthcare industry. Not only are we able to handle all lines of business insurance including your Professional Liability coverages, but also we supplement our proactive approach by partnering with firms that can provide you the policies and procedures to better manage this risk. We feel it is imperative that preferred pricing be negotiated before a breach occurs and that a plan be in place when the inevitable occurs. We can all agree that education of our staff and those vendors involved in our daily activities are critical to the successful response you will need in order to protect your business assets. If your current insurance advisor has not had this conversation with you, maybe you are not with the right partner. Maybe you should take a second look and find someone who is aware of those solutions that can be incorporated in your practice. We want to be that partner with you. In a crazy world that only seems to be getting more complex, you deserve a partner who cares!