SOURCE: LockPath, Inc.

LockPath

May 28, 2015 00:00 ET

Health Care Providers: Why Protecting Your Brand Matters

OVERLAND PARK, KS--(Marketwired - May 28, 2015) - When shopping for products, consumers are more likely to choose a brand that is most familiar. Health care is no exception. A recent survey by HealthPocket found that when it comes to choosing Medicare plans, seniors are influenced more by familiar brands than star ratings.

The preference for familiar brands goes beyond seniors. A poll published in 2013 discovered that 82 percent of Americans feel that a health insurer's brand is important in deciding health insurance plans.

A health care company's brand equity can be eroded quickly by a data breach. In fact, according to a survey from TransUnion Healthcare, nearly seven in 10 patients would avoid health care providers that have experienced a data breach.

Breaches are not the only thing that can damage the reputation your business has spent years building. This past March, an Illinois home health agency made the mistake of hiring an excluded individual as a nurse. The OIG's investigation discovered that Ambulatory Health Care Services, Ltd had billed federal health care programs for services provided by the excluded nurse to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. As a result Ambulatory Health Care Services, LTD was prohibited from participating in federal health care programs and had to close its doors.

Maintaining compliance and accountability across your organization is the best way to preserve brand and keep your name out of the news. Implementing a governance, risk and compliance (GRC) tool, such as LockPath's Keylight solution, can simplify these tasks with automation. Here are few ways a GRC tool can help protect your brand:

  • Promote communication across all departments. Keep each other in the loop to ensure no compliance issues slip through the cracks.
  • Conduct frequent risk assessments. Knowing what keeps your stakeholders up at night is the first step in remediation.
  • Build and test remediation and mitigation plans. The few days following an incident such as a breach can be the most crucial for consumers. The TransUnion survey found that 46 percent of respondents expect to be notified of a breach within a day of the occurrence and 72 percent expect providers to offer one year of free credit monitoring service.
  • Have a central repository for all compliance efforts. This could include documents, checklists, policies, procedures, etc.
  • Keep your staff updated on new policies and policy changes. Use assessments to test their knowledge and ensure policy comprehension.

About LockPath
LockPath is a market leader in corporate governance, risk management, regulatory compliance (GRC) and information security (InfoSec) software. The company's flexible, scalable and fully integrated suite of applications is used by organizations to automate business processes, reduce enterprise risk and demonstrate regulatory compliance to achieve audit-ready status. LockPath serves a client base of global organizations ranging from small and midsize companies to Fortune 10 enterprises in more than 15 industries. The company is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

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