Driving Compliance: Cyber Liability Considerations for ABA Providers with Multiple Locations

All healthcare providers, including ABA providers, must be familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA law and confidentiality regulations ideally should protect patient information. To maintain confidentiality and HIPAA compliance, all practices must have safeguards, and every staff member should have adequate HIPAA training. Nowadays, most information is stored digitally, which means that cyber liability is critical coverage to protect against data breaches and identity theft.

What Cyber Liability Risks Do ABA Providers Have To Consider?

Patients within an Applied Behavioral Analysis practice often seek therapy because of sensitive issues. They rely on your facility to make them feel safe. Many people understand the importance of keeping private information secure, but it can also be easy to violate HIPAA without realizing it. It is why training is essential to maintain HIPAA compliance for ABA providers. Some of the common violations found in ABA practices include:

  • Sending unsecured PHI emails
  • Disclosing patient information in the waiting room
  • Transporting clinical documents without security measures
  • Offering information to a family member or friend of a patient without a release
  • Transporting a patient in a company vehicle with corporate advertising or logos visible
  • Using a phone to text patient health information
  • Throwing PHI documents into the trash without shredding them
  • Maintaining electronic medical record systems that are not HIPAA compliant
  • Working with vendors who are not compliant
  • Using Telehealth systems that are not compliant

If you or your facility violates HIPAA, you could face serious consequences, including lawsuits from the patients and their families and criminal and civil infractions.

How Does This Coverage Protect RBTs and BCBAs?

Cyberattacks and data breaches can have a lasting impact on behavioral health facilities. The risks associated with data breaches are constantly evolving. If your system becomes hacked or compromised, criminals can access personal files and use them to steal identities or to expose patients.

Whenever you have a data breach, regardless of the size, you must inform everyone involved of the data breach. Any time-sensitive data could have been exposed to an inappropriate party; your facility must report it to those affected.

Cyber liability coverage protects against the following scenarios:

  • Ransomware attacks
  • Phishing
  • Accidents

Smaller clinics may have weaker security, which can lead to ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks occur when malware takes files hostage and criminals ask for a ransom to return the information. Cyber liability policies can help you pay the ransom and determine what security options you need to prevent future cyberattacks.

Phishing occurs when a user tries to log onto a legitimate-looking website and instead provides sensitive login information to cybercriminals via a keylogger. To avoid phishing, patients, caretakers, and staff must understand what to look for when determining if an email is from your practice.

Accidental breaches can occur if you have misconfigured software. Your patient files and other information may be encrypted. Other accidental breaches occur when someone leaves a computer open with personal information on it.

Cyber Liability Options May Increase HIPAA Compliance

All ABA providers must have cyber liability insurance to protect their facility. If unauthorized persons access patient health information, your facility may violate HIPAA regulations. Cyber liability not only helps you protect patient information but can also help you afford the costs associated with a data breach.

Olson Duncan

At Olson Duncan Insurance, we strive to offer all-inclusive solutions rather than mere quotes or policies. Our clients rely on lasting, trust-based relationships and appreciate the tailored insurance and risk management solutions they receive. Contact Daniel and our team at (310) 373-6441 to discuss your needs or request a quote.