The Value of Medical Records

photo credit: AMagill cc

photo: AMagill

There are many reasons why we work to keep our clients’ records private and secure.  To name just a few: it’s the law, it’s ethical, we want to avoid fines, we want to protect our clients.  We are all motivated in different ways!

However, one thing about security that seems to be true amongst the therapists I speak with, is that our profession doesn’t have great internal wisdom for high-tech security risks.  In general, therapists don’t have a lot of information, or even interest, in the specifics of what could go wrong.

I try very hard to come from a strengths-based perspective when I preach about the value of HIPAA compliance, burt every once in a while it’s useful to mention some of the fear-based motivators, too.  (See the violation penalty chart for one example.)  This recent article falls under the category of ‘what you don’t know can sometimes hurt you.’

Did you know that there is an active black market for medical information?  In fact, a person’s medical record is worth more than their credit card number–10 times as much!

Large medical systems, hospitals, and insurance companies are probably a much higher risk for hacking attempts, but small/solo therapists still have a responsibility to educate themselves about security risks and solutions.



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