RCM tip of the day: Secure data processed through new payment channels

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Patients are increasingly demanding online options for payment, but this presents a number of data security issues.

Jeff Lin, Senior Vice President of Product Management, InstaMed: Until recently, providers relied on paper checks from just a few payers for almost all of their revenue. As patient payments increase, providers must now collect payments from hundreds or even thousands of patients from various payment channels to get paid for their services. In a recent survey, 93 percent of patients indicated that they wanted to pay online for their healthcare services.

These new payment channels present greater risks to data security for providers and their patients as countless sensitive information moves through potentially unsecure connections. In fact, by this year alone, the IDC estimates that approximately half of all healthcare organizations will experience one to five cyberattacks. This startling projection emphasizes the need for providers to ensure all data is secure. In order to most effectively protect payment data, it must be encrypted across all payment channels — from co-pays collected in the office to online payments made after the visit.

Encryption significantly reduces the risk of a data breach and simplifies compliance by reducing the scope of PCI requirements. Providers must evaluate whether to 'build or buy' this defense against potential breaches with careful consideration of seamless integration across existing processes and systems from acquiring the payment to posting into their billing applications.  

If you would like to share your RCM best practices, please email Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com to be featured in the "RCM tip of the day" series.

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