Many patients will suffer personal financial loss as a result of cyber attacks on medical information.
Accenture estimates that one in 13 patients – roughly 25 million people – will have personal information, such as social security or financial records, stolen from technology systems over the next five years.
“If healthcare providers are complacent to safeguarding personal information, they’ll risk losing substantial revenues and patients as a result of medical identity theft,” said Kaveh Safavi, managing director of Accenture’s global healthcare business.
Nearly 1.6 million people had their medical information stolen from healthcare providers last year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
Of the patients likely to be affected by healthcare-provider data breaches over the next five years, 25 percent of patients – or 6 million people – will subsequently become victims of medical identity theft. One in six (16 percent) of the affected patients – or 4 million people – will be victimized and pay costs totaling almost $56 billion over the same time period.
Addressing cyber security proactively can improve a provider’s ability to thwart attacks by an average of 53 percent, Accenture said.