How Your Healthcare Payments Provider Should Be Helping with Data Security

Patients trust healthcare organizations with an awesome amount of responsibility. Healthcare providers must provide quality care, which by itself is a huge responsibility, but healthcare organizations are also entrusted to safeguard sensitive personal health and financial information. A recent study published by the Identity Theft Resource Center reports that 28 percent of data breaches in 2017 occurred in the healthcare sector. Healthcare organizations continue to be a rich target, and so it is of paramount importance that they use secure payment processing methods. There are several ways in which your payments provider can support your healthcare organization with data security solutions and education.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a compliance regulation that sets standards for all parties involved in payment card processing. Data breaches are the stuff of nightmares, and ensuring your healthcare payment processor is PCI compliant is essential to both preventing breaches and mitigating the damage that can be done in the event of a security breach.

Security Measures: Point-to-Point Encryption and Tokenization

A simple way for healthcare organizations to protect sensitive financial information is to avoid storing it themselves. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) is a security measure that encrypts the customer’s credit card information from the point of entry until the payment processor decrypts the information. P2PE is a solution that protects the healthcare organization because the organization itself never sees the unencrypted financial data. Thieves that get ahold of encrypted data will not be able to use it for their nefarious ends. The use of P2PE through a payments provider also reduces the healthcare organization’s scope of responsibility under PCI DSS, as many of the responsibilities to meet PCI compliance are shifted out of house to the payment processor.

Beyond encryption, tokenization is quickly growing in popularity as a security solution for payment processing. Tokenization works by generating a placeholder, or token, to replace credit card information. This token cannot be reverse-engineered to recover the original credit card data, so if the tokens were revealed in a data breach they would be useless to crooks. By selecting a payments provider that uses tokenization, healthcare organizations limit their exposure in a cost-effective way because sensitive credit card information is not stored on internal networks.

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Make Life Easier: Support and Education

Your payments provider should be completely dedicated to data security, and this includes being a proactive partner with your organization to provide support and education. You want the reassurance of a support team that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support your organization’s needs as they arise—independent of time zones or office hours.

A payments provider should also be committed to providing data security education. Thieves are committed to developing evermore enterprising methods to steal data, and continuing education on how to keep financial data secure is essential to being an organization worthy of the trust placed in institutions when payment card information is received.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and selecting a payment provider that supports a robust data security plan is just one more way healthcare organizations can earn the trust of patients.