The digital transformation in healthcare is moving forward. What were once exclusively brick-and-mortar provider-patient interactions at specialty facilities of clinics and hospitals are transforming to an expanding set of “anywhere and anytime” wellness and healthcare touchpoints, which epitomize the galloping state of connected health.
Evidence of connected health’s growing consumer demand is present, for example, in consumer interest in telehealth and tracking of health and wellness. Through a late-2014 survey of adults in the United States, American Well reports that X% of consumers are willing to have a video-based doctor visit; on a specific healthcare situation, X% of parents with children under the age of X prefer this option for middle-of-the-night care. Reflecting connected health’s potential disruption in established provider-patient relationships, X% of consumers would switch to physicians that offer online visits from those that do not. As expected, adoption attitudes vary by age: X% of survey respondents in the 18-36 age group indicated that they would switch to physicians offering online visits, versus X% in the 45-54 and 55-64 age groups.
Regarding health and wellness tracking, a late-2015 survey found that X% of consumers in the United States currently use mobile apps to track health and wellness; and X% use wearable sensors. In two years, consumer adoption of each is expected to exceed X%.
Feeding the engine of connected health are vast streams of digital information. These streams include information that identifies the individual (name, age, address, physical attributes, social security number, provider-specific medical ID numbers, and financial account information), and information on the individual’s medical profile, family history, current and past medical and psychological diagnoses and treatments, and insurance (provider, account number(s), co-insurance, deductibles, and account balance).
Although essential in the delivery of health and wellness services, this same information attracts others intent on profiting by fraudulent use. Moreover, deepening pools of digitized information; the broad ecosystem of interconnected participants in the end-to-end development, delivery, and payment of health services; and the openness necessary to satisfy consumer access to medical information, creates an environment ripe for data breaches and identity fraud. In this insight, we present data on the state of healthcare data breaches and identity fraud, clarify who are the victims, and provide recommendations on risk reduction.
Do Data Breaches Affect Consumer Attitudes?
2015 was quite a year for data breaches in healthcare. While the number of data breach incidents modestly declined from the previous year, from X to X, the number of breached data records ballooned from X million to X million. The details behind these numbers, however, tell a different story. Of the X million breached records in 2015, X million were tied to three incidents: Anthem( X million), Premera Blue Cross ( X million), and Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield / Lifetime Healthcare X million). This same mega-breach phenomenon is not limited to “Healthcare.” The large number of breached data records for “Business” in 2014 is largely attributed to the Home Depot data breach, which accounted for X million records. Similarly, the jump in records for “Government” from 2014 to 2015 is driven by the X million records associated with the Office of Personnel Management incident. In fact, by removing these five mega-breaches and the X million records in the T-Mobile/Experian 2015 breach from the 2014 and 2015 record tallies returns less than X million records in each year across all industries, and less than an average of records per incident. Although still a sizable number of data breach incidents and records, this “normalization” for mega-breaches supports an impression that the severity of breach exposure is more a “modest” rather than “critical” concern.
2. Do Data Breaches Affect Consumer Attitudes?
3. The Leading Perpetrators of Healthcare Data Breaches and Medical Identity Fraud may Surprise You
4. Medical Identity Fraud Victims Pay a Hefty Price
5. Reducing Risk
6. The Last Word