HIPAA issues with the “New Normal.”

The term “new normal” is something I think we would all enjoy hearing less of at this point. We’re at a point where this is how we are going to be operating and we need to pause, assess what happened, where we are, and how we move forward.

As we reflect back, we know first and foremost that this was not something that everyone was adequately prepared for. Resources were not readily available or prepared for the quick deployment that was necessary to allow for business continuity and supporting a remote workforce.

Adapt & Adjust

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we saw a rise in new technologies and procedures to help the healthcare community adapt. Patients still needed care, but how they were seen and cared for was no longer something that could be done without a lot of adjustment. Enter telehealth. While this existed previous to the pandemic, it wasn’t the norm. It was a technology that patients were perhaps hesitant to try, and many healthcare professionals weren’t pushing.

What we found was that by adjusting the business model for patient care using telehealth, we now have adoption of something that was a challenge to deploy in the first place. The rush to get the platform in place didn’t initially allow for an optimal experience or optimal cybersecurity, so it is critical now to address the gaps that were overlooked before. Additionally, we must ask the question – how does HIPAA come into play when using telehealth? While there were accommodations to the rules and regulations to align with necessary safety measures for COVID-19, there will be a need to address those exemptions in the very near future.

Fraud & Loss

The pandemic presented cybercriminals with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the rampant fear and uncertainty that came with the pandemic. Misinformation about a variety of things including the virus itself, unemployment, small business loans, and all of the other bits that went along with it. This led to people exploring on their own, and often clicking on malicious links to learn more or buy something that they should have avoided in the first place.