In July, 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights issued guidance intended to help healthcare entities understand and respond to ransom-ware attacks.
Ransom-ware is a type of malware that denies a user’s access to its electronic data by encrypting the data with a “key” known only to the perpetrating hacker. After the malware is deployed, the hacker demands that the user pay a ransom (often the request is made in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to preserve the hacker’s anonymity) to obtain the key and decrypt the data. However, there are no guarantees that once the ransom is paid will the hacker provide the necessary key.
According to the report issued, there have been 4,000 daily ransom-ware attacks since early 2016 (a 300% increase over the 1,000 daily ransom-ware attacks reported in 2015). Doesn’t that seem incredible? Why would these people target businesses such as yours? Here are some thoughts:
After reading the HHS report, I set out to build a checklist that would help prevent this from happening to me and you, my client. Here is my “Top 10 List to Protecting Yourself from Ransom-ware”:
Computers have become an integral part of the way in which we do business today. I find myself being in a love, hate relationship. I love the efficiencies and conveniences they provide. I hate the damage they can cause to relationships, work / family time, and our pocket-book. I’m probably not going to eliminate technology from my life any time soon. In fact, my use will likely only increase with time – so, I guess it just makes sense to be smart in the way in which we use them. Hopefully, this checklist will help us both in making life with them just a little better and little safer.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of the HHS report, go to http://mikeldevries.com/HHSReport for a pdf copy.
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client, contact Mike at www.vmde.com.
He called on Mother’s Day. “May I speak to her?”, he asked. My jaw dropped as I listened to my fifteen-year-old daughter, who was recovering from ACL knee surgery, talk with her Orthopedic Surgeon. He was calling just to see how she was feeling. Even though my wife provided our daughter’s current status and answered all his questions, he wanted to take a minute to talk with the patient for whom he cared. It was awesome that Dr. Steward called to check in with his patient. One might even expect such a call. But, when he ended the conversation with my wife asking – “May I speak to her?” – he just created an awesome experience – patient satisfaction for both the patient and her parents. It was as if he put extra sprinkles on a baked cake…marketing at its finest.
Are you maximizing your Hygiene Practice? Productive, Profitable Dental Practices always have a productive hygiene department.
Your Dental Hygienist is an important member of your team in assisting your patients with their oral care. Under the new government health reform, which includes mandatory oral health benefits for children and young adults up to 21 years old, the role of your hygienist will continue to evolve and expand. In addition to the role of your Hygienist and the work they do for your patients, the business aspects of this segment of your business are also very important to the overall profitability and success of your practice. In this episode, Mike and team members, Mary Millar, RDH, BS, and Ben Lane CPA, JD discuss Measuring Key Hygiene Department Business Components to improve the bottom line of your Dental Practice.
Any conscientious healthcare business practitioner for various reasons can easily overlook evaluating office staff. Two basic reasons are: one, it is extra work; and second, many doctors simply believe that all is working well in their offices and do not want to “rock the boat”. Yet, it is very important for you to know that your office is operating as efficiently as it can, and with a well-planned, routinely conducted staff evaluation program, you can achieve several advantages.
Dr. Zubin Damania continues the fight for a better healthcare system for all of us. Doctors, speak up and let your voice be heard at http://LetDoctorsBeDoctors.com
Be aware that fraudsters are trying everything they can to obtain your personal or business financial information. I received a call from a doctor client who indicated that she received an e-mail from the IRS stating that they were due a refund for taxes paid. The e-mail looks legitimate as even indicates an official looking reply to address – firstname.lastname@example.org. The body of the email states the following:
In this episode, Mike DeVries & his guest, Nate Moore, discuss Using Business Intelligence. Using data from your Medical Practice to Manage Your Business Better. The YouTube Video below is a video recording of the show in which you can see the example reports that were discussed during the show.
Interest rates have been low over the past many years, which has been most advantageous for utilizing adjustable rate loans. Experts say that interest rates will be on the rise this year – an easy prediction given where rates are currently; how can you go wrong? A better prediction would encompass how quickly the interest rates will they rise? I figure why take a chance; why wait?