DENVER, Colo. — A victim of identity theft himself in late 2008, Denver dentist Dr. Miles B. Collett this spring implemented a patient data security solution by Denver-based idBUSINESS (www.idbusiness.com). The solution, which ensures the protection of personal information and guarantees complete restoration of “prior to event” status in the event of a patient data breach protects both his approximately 750 patients and his 25-year practice from the impact of identity theft.
For Dr. Collett’s dental practice, identity theft protection is both a patient care priority and a business management imperative. Although the FTC recently postponed its enforcement of the “Red Flag Rules” identity theft provisions added to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), it continues to warn consumers and remind businesses that they must advise their customers when data records are compromised. (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/business/asssiting-victims.html)
Understanding that dental practices are vulnerable targets for identity theft criminals, Dr. Collett was motivated to protect his patients from an experience he had seen firsthand. According to Dr. Collett, the “eye-opening” realization of the risk to his patients, more than potential FTC enforcement, made him take steps.
He also understood that his failure to comply with the FTC identity theft requirements would create a substantial liability for his dental practice – including potential FTC fines, additional state penalties where statutes have been enacted, and consumer-driven legal actions. He realized that legal practices would pounce on the fees and awards generated from adjudication of consumer suits against non-compliant businesses – medical and dental practices, especially.
Consider the risks and consequences for a non-compliant 750-patient dental practice under enforcement of the FACTA identity theft mandate. Whether due to information breach or FTC discovery, the following applies:
* $1,000.00 penalty per account held (a patient file is a single account) – $750,000;
* Non-compliance will become a matter of public record;
* State authorities will be notified as applicable.
Through his relationship with the Metro Denver Dental Society (www.mddsdentist.com), Dr. Collett learned that dentists who provide FTC compliant identity theft protection sidestep this disaster. Since idBUSINESS has been endorsed by the MDDS as the recommended Red Flag Rules solutions provider for its members, he selected that solution to secure his practice against a broad spectrum of potential patient data and information breaches
“In addition to the nuts and bolts of being in compliance with the FTC, which is more or less common sense, we’ve made a lot of changes in our business software and have been implementing step-by-step processes to improve office security,” said Dr. Collett.
Today, Dr. Collett is concerned for his peers, who he fears are not “tuned in” to the imminent identity theft risks to their practice and to their patients, nor to the impact of FTC enforcement.
“I understand the mindset of other dentists in practice for themselves, and that it is easy to minimize identity theft as a business threat or a patient care issue,” he explained. “It is low on their list of priorities, which is unfortunate because if and when a patient data breach occurs, we are by law responsible.”
When vetting Red Flag Rules compliance solutions, look for firms that are willing, and able, to provide access to individual identity theft protection and reactive data breach services. It will reassure patients to understand that their dentist’s identity theft protocol is patient-centered, and that an identity theft policy can guarantee full recovery to pre-theft status, saving an individual up to 130 working hours and $1,800 in out-of-pocket costs.
idBUSINESS is the standard Information Security operating system for small- to mid-sized businesses. It provides information security planning tools that identify needs, assess risks, comply with the law, and secure an organization’s data.
idBUSINESS is powered by two leading firms in information security, ID Experts, the nation’s leader in date breach prevention and remediation services, and Net Reaction, providers of forensics and information security planning products and services. To learn more, please visit www.idBUSINESS.com.