HSCC Creates Guidance on Protecting the Telehealth and Telemedicine Ecosystem

Healthcare companies are more and more using health information technology to offer patients virtual medical care services. Telehealth services enable patients residing in rural locations and the elderly get needed healthcare services, and the COVID outbreak has resulted in a significant growth in telehealth to deliver virtual medical care services to patients to lessen the propagation of COVID-19.

Based on FAIR Health, the quantity of telehealth claims to private insurance providers has grown by 4,347% last year. In fact, virtual care telehealth today is one of the quickest growing aspect of medical care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided to offer continuous help for virtual medical care services and Frost & Sullivan anticipates a seven-fold growth in telehealth services by 2025.

The key development of healthcare services has occurred rapidly and at a period when cybercriminals are all the more targeting the healthcare market. Attackers have been taking advantage of vulnerabilities easily to get access to sensitive healthcare information and disturb operations for profit. A 2020 research by SecurityScorecard and DarkOwl showed there was an almost exponential growth in targeted attacks on telehealth companies when popularity of telehealth skyrocketed.

For virtual healthcare services to get to their 100 % potential, it is important for healthcare sector stakeholders to distinguish and deal with the privacy and security threats to healthcare information, which may be challenging in a complicated, connected environment like healthcare.

The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) has released a white paper to provide the healthcare industry guidance on determining cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats associated with the usage and administration of telehealth and telemedicine.

The new guidance, Health Industry Cybersecurity-Securing Telehealth and Telemedicine, was released to benefit the healthcare systems, physicians, suppliers, service providers, and patients, who all share the burden of making sure that telehealth offers the highest possible benefit while maintaining privacy and security threats to a minimal and acceptable degree.

The document clarifies the cyber risks related to telehealth and telemedicine and describes the regulatory problems that cover telehealth services, giving audit tools, assistance with policies and procedures, and recommending guidelines to follow.

The guidance paper describes the policy basis of healthcare cybersecurity, talks about rules and company policies, cybersecurity concerns, and includes tips for using and sustaining telemedicine services.

Presently, there’s no individual federal agency having capacity to establish and impose privacy and security prerequisites for the whole telehealth environment. At the very least, telehealth systems must make security and privacy in accordance with all other kinds of care.

Healthcare companies are urged to follow the best practices recommended in the white paper and use the tips suitable for their risk profile to enhance privacy and security defenses to obtain the maximum advantages from telehealth and telemedicine services.

The HIC-STAT white paper is available for download here.

Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAA News section of HIPAA Coach and an experienced journalist in the healthcare sector. She specializes in healthcare and HIPAA compliance, making her a go-to source for information on healthcare regulations. Her work focuses on the importance of patient privacy and secure information handling. Elizabeth also has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Follow on Twitter: You can follow Elizabeth on twitter at https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone