The Solar Eclipse and-Healthcare-Risks

The Solar Eclipse and-Healthcare-Risks

On April 8, 2024, approximately 32 million people in the United States will have a rare treat when a total solar eclipse sweeps across Mexico, the United States, and Canada. As this phenomenon unfolds, spectators will don solar eclipse glasses, their attention completely focused to the spectacle of the moon obscuring the sun. The event is sure to captivate many, leaving them in awe but also potentially vulnerable.

This is an opportune moment for malicious actors to exploit. However, law enforcement, first responders, and healthcare providers are already devising safety measures to shield both individuals and their property. In anticipation, some educational institutions and businesses plan to suspend activities or close early, not only enabling people to witness this once-in-a-generation event but also to enhance public safety.

The recent ransomware attack on Change Healthcare on February 21, 2024, serves as a stark reminder of the healthcare sector's susceptibility to cyber threats. The breach threw a wrench into the operations of a vast array of healthcare services, from large hospital networks to single-practitioner offices, affecting over 90% of U.S. pharmacies and underscoring the potential fallout of cyber-attacks.

This incident mirrors the upcoming eclipse in a metaphorical sense: just as healthcare leaders are singularly focused on processing patient claims to maintain financial and operational flow, their attention must also prioritize cybersecurity.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' latest release, “Occupational Fraud 2024: A Report to the Nations,” outlines the grave financial impact of occupational fraud, described as potentially the most significant and costly form of financial crime globally. Annually, organizations lose about 5% of their revenue to fraud, with the median loss per case at $145,000 and an average loss soaring to $1.7 million. The report categorizes fraud into:

  • Asset misappropriation schemes, noted for being prevalent yet relatively less damaging, with a median loss of approximately $120,000; and
  • Financial statement frauds, rarer but considerably more devastating, averaging around a $766,000 median loss.

The parallel drawn between the cyber-attack on Change Healthcare and the potential distractions of the solar eclipse serves as a cautionary tale: healthcare leaders must not allow the former to overshadow the risk of occupational fraud within their organizations. It's crucial to rigorously evaluate internal control processes to avert such fraud, leveraging internal audit, compliance departments, and external resources for enhanced protection.

Consider HAVEN: A Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solution

HAVEN delivers an all-encompassing service aimed at bolstering healthcare organizations against a wide range of cyber risks. With a holistic approach that extends beyond mere defense strategies, HAVEN focuses on Fraud Prevention/Financial Controls, Cybersecurity, and Emergency Preparedness.

By emphasizing Fraud Prevention and Financial Controls, HAVEN employs advanced analytics and machine learning to identify irregularities in financial transactions and billing procedures, preventing the manipulation of financial data. This proactive stance not only boosts cybersecurity measures but also reinforces the financial integrity of healthcare entities, safeguarding them against both external and internal threats.

In today’s environment, where inaction can lead to catastrophic consequences, opting for HAVEN is more than a protective measure—it's a strategic investment in the security and longevity of your patients, your reputation, and your financial health. HAVEN offers peace of mind, resilience against cyber threats, and the assurance that your organization is enveloped in comprehensive, state-of-the-art protection.

Article by: William N. Wildridge III, CPA - CEO/Managing Partner

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