Consumer Concern on Health Data Breaches and Financial Data Breaches Compared

A survey conducted by the healthcare marketing agency SCOUT revealed that consumers are not as much concerned about the privacy and safety of their medical data as with the privacy and safety of financial information including credit card numbers. As part of a new study series named SCOUT Rare Insights, the Harris Poll survey was undertaken on May 10 to May 14, 2018 which surveyed 2,033 people. As per the survey results, 49% or under half of consumers were quite concerned about their medical data privacy and safety, while 69% or more than two-thirds of consumers were quite concerned about the privacy and security of their financial information.

A lot of consumers have got insurance plans that offer credit card protection and so losses could be reclaimed in many instances. If credit cards are lost or ripped off, it is very easy to obtain a new credit card number plus there are rules that put a limit on your personal liability. But, in the event of theft of health insurance information and Social Security numbers, the serious losses suffered by breach victims might not be retrieved.

Patients can likewise have major issues with medical identity theft. If malicious actors rob patients of their identities to get prescription medications or medical services, the patients could suffer harm considering that their healthcare records ended up being changed. It is quite worrying that medical identity theft and medical data breaches are transpiring at an increased rate.

When financial data breaches occur, the falsification of information is quickly discovered and victims receive speedy notifications. But, with medical data breaches, discovery of breaches usually take a couple of months or a few years, and so it’s quite possible that medical information misuse already occurred even before the patients learn about the data breach. Furthermore, patients have limited protection since no law limits the liability and losses.

Patients should be more concerned with regards to their medical data privacy and protection since the risk is rather substantial when medical information are compromised. The consequences when a malicious attacker obtains your personal health information are much more damaging in comparison to the unlawful access of your private financial information.

More information collected from the study are: 36% of patients utilize websites to gain access to their PHI; 28% of respondents under 35s utilize web portals; and 39% of respondents over 35s utilize web portals.

By going over health details regularly, it helps to resolve mistakes immediately and identify PHI misuse fast. The low number (47%) of web portal users is due to people’s inclination to talk about health concerns in person.

When answering the question on the types of medical data patients were most worried about getting misused and disclosed, the area of greatest concern was diagnosed medical issues and diseases, ranked as a real concern by 31% of respondents.