There's no denying that the world is becoming more fast-paced, technological and global, and this includes the health care industry. Although electronic medical billing is a much simpler and more efficient way to keep track of your practice's medical data, these methods make it easier for cyber attacks and hacking.

The need for better medical billing software
According to a 2013 IT Trust Curve 2013 Global Study, 61 percent of professionals have suffered from unplanned downtime, data loss and security breaches, and 45 percent of that same demographic lack confidence in their company's data protection, security and IT availability due to poor data storage choices. Numbers like these indicate that there is a growing need for faster and more reliable medical billing solutions to keep criminals away from your practice's health data.

Stealing medical information has become big business, at least on the black market, according to HIT Consultant. In fact, they even mentioned recent stolen EHR charts that sold for as much as $50 per piece and two stolen laptops that lead to nearly $ 2 million in fines related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Fortunately, there are many ways that physicians can prevent security breaches from occurring.

  • Use data controls: Obviously not all data in your medical office needs to be under lock and key. Physicians should find the types of information that are the most sensitive and then put specific controls around them.
  • Be careful about mobile device usage: Many of the hacks that occur online happen through mobile devices. Be careful about PHI storage on these items and set up policies that prevent these devices from endangering your practice's network security.
  • Make sure your patient portals are secure: Any business, but especially medical practices, needs to be extra cautious about patient portals and who can access the system. This means that there needs to be a very rigorous authentication process in place. However, it is crucial that you don't make it too hard for patients to access the information they need – so you may need additional software to detect online intruders.
  • Your cloud provider choice is an important one: For extra protection, you may want to opt for a hybrid cloud provider that allows you to better access your system while still complying with HIPAA.

Protecting your practice's online information is more important than ever in a growing digital age that is influencing the health care industry as a whole.