Technology shapes the way we engage the world. How we interact, pay for goods, and everything in between is touched by technology in some form. With great data comes great responsibility. Though there are innovative people leveraging tech to improve our lives for the common good, we live in a time where data breaches are all too common–making the average person wary of technology– especially in the healthcare industry.
Over the course of the last year, we have seen data breaches across the healthcare space. As unfortunate as these incidences are, this is not the time to shy away from adopting technology into healthcare payment engagements. It is time to build trust in the patient-provider relationship. It is time to double down on tech by implementing secure safety measures to ensure software integrations are protecting your patients’ data and payment information and keeping them away from nefarious groups.
When it comes to data security in the realm of securing payment information, it is critical healthcare providers use the latest, most updated technology. Point to point encryption (P2PE) allows providers to offer secure card payments by encrypting data and payment information at the point-of-interaction. This method has the highest protection standards for payment if implemented properly. When partnering with vendors, make sure the PCI Security Standards are being followed. Check for the following:
- Secure encryption of payment card data at point-of-interaction (POI)
- P2PE-validated application(s) at point-of-interaction
- Secure management of encryption and decryption devices
- Management of decryption environment and all decrypted account data
- Use of secure encryption methodologies and cryptographic key operations, including key generation, distribution, loading/injection, administration and usage
EMV and NFC Payments
In addition to offering P2PE, EMV and NFC payments offer a higher level of security for healthcare providers. As of 2015, anyone who would accept a fraudulent payment without the use of EMV would be responsible for the fraudulent funds, leaving that person/company at an operating loss. In healthcare, offering patients a chip card reader is not only convenient, it provides an added layer of financial protection. NFC payments have seen a higher adoption rate since 2015 as they give patients the choice to pay without leaving a trail of data. These payment options boost your payment security while simultaneously working to increase payment collections.
Healthcare providers are generally not in the practice of sharing or selling patient data. That doesn’t mean that third-party vendors they’ve partnered with have the same goals. Health data mining is a real practice and as a healthcare provider, you need to communicate your preferred stance when engaging with tech vendors. The integrity of your patient’s information and trust in your organization depends on it. While it makes sense to think that HIPPA is an all-encompassing law that prohibits leaking information from patients, there are a few items that fall out of its jurisdiction. The general rule of thumb is that PHI cannot be disclosed without patient consent. However, certain uses and disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment, and health care operations (TPO) do not require patient authorization if the TPO conditions under HIPAA are met. When partnering with tech vendors, communicate your stance on the matter so there is no room for open interpretation.
Patient Transparency in the Age of Technology
At the end of the day, adopting technology in healthcare payments is a safe and cost-saving measure when you partner with ethical vendors. When engaging with third-parties, check for compliance, certifications, and their data mining policies. Understanding these pieces will give you an added peace of mind while boosting your patients’ confidence and building trust in knowing that their payment information is safe.