Are You Dental Patients Protected Online?
Beyond providing dental care procedures, dentists are tasked with gathering and storing sensitive patient information. This data generally falls into two categories: financial information and medical records. The safe storage of patient medical records is regulated by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) while dental clinics that wish to meet the highest standards of online credit card data storage must meet strict PCI security standards.
Dental practices that fail to meet either of these standards risk being fined or even sued. The potential long-term damage to patient trust should be a motivating factor for any dental business to work with a trusted and established online Software as a Service (SaaS).
StrongBox eSolutions is HIPAA compliant and PCI-certified, so patients know they’re paying through a secure portal.
What is PCI Certification?
Online hackers are always on the hunt for credit card information. Unfortunately, massive credit card breaches are fairly common these days. Even without a chip, cybercriminals can steal funds using a patient’s stolen Primary Account Number (PAN), cardholder name, CID number, and other security measures. Often, this information is gathered using the same online connections that connect your office and payment systems to the internet.
The loss of credit card information can lead to:
- Lost consumer confidence
- Diminished sales
- Fraud losses
- Legal costs
- Fines and penalties
PCI standards lay out goals and steps to reach those goals.
- Build a secure network: To reach this goal, the guidelines recommend installing and maintaining a firewall configuration to protect payment data.
- Protect cardholder data: Avoiding using default passwords and encryption information is key to protecting payment information.
- Maintain a vulnerability management program: This step can be achieved by regularly updating antivirus software programs and maintaining secure systems and applications.
- Implement strong access control measures: PCI-compliant businesses have mechanisms to restrict access to cardholder data. They should also have the ability to restrict physical access to cardholder data.
- Monitor and test networks: PCI guidelines direct businesses to track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data. Businesses are also guided to test security systems.
- Maintain information security policy: Employees and contractors should be aware of information security protocols.
How Do I Meet HIPAA Standards?
Since the passage of HIPAA legislation in the mid-1990s, the healthcare industry has largely transitioned to the electronic storage of patient data. HIPAA legislation was soon followed by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which outlines penalties for health organizations that violate HIPAA rules.
Dental practices across the United States are now required to ensure that:
- Patient information is readily available and secure
- Medical companies have information integrity controls in place
- Sensitive data is controlled throughout the organization
HIPAA fines are based on the level of negligence a company is found at fault for. The fines range from anywhere between $100 to $50,000 per violation. When it comes to patient payment information, the best way to guarantee that your payment data is HIPPA-compliant is to trust StrongBox’s secure online patient payment portal and patient finance program.
Protect Your Dental Patients Using StrongBox eSolutions
In 2018, 43 percent of businesses were a victim of an online breach. The total cost attributed to cybercrime will rise to $6 billion dollars in 2021, according to Cyber Security Ventures. Unfortunately, dental practices are a leading target for cybercriminals. Don’t let your dental practice become the target of cybercrime. Our expert staff can integrate cyber-secure payment tools that will allow your dental practice to become HIPAA- and PCI-compliant. To schedule your next consultation, contact our Boca Raton office online or call (855) 468-7876.