We read this week that St. Margaret’s Health in Spring Valley, Illinois is closing it's doors after a cyberattack affected their ability to process claims for 14 weeks, starting a financial backlog that took months to resolve and eventually factored in to the hospital closing.
While the cyberattack wasn't the sole reason that the hospital decided to stop serving its community, we believe this is the first time that this criminal activity was listed as a significant factor. We empathize with the patients that may now have their lives affected by not having hospital-level resources within the same town; we are blessed to have three hospitals and at least two urgent care clinics minutes away, and major-name hospitals within an hour.
We don't know what St. Margaret’s Health could have done differently, whether they were staffed to run a secure, compliant HIPAA program, or not. Bad things happen to great people. But it is our experience that many breaches are avoidable, through resourcing a program that includes workforce training, compliance, security, privacy and risk. Contact us if you don't have all of these parameters in your program.
Stay (HIPAA) safe,