How Release-of-Information Outsourcing Can Curb Economic Risk

Bonnie Coffey, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2010

In addition to a patient's trust in their healthcare provider dissipating, there are financial burdens associated with these breaches that impact both the provider and the patient. On average, $211 per provider is spent on every breach. Additionally, if more than 500 individuals are impacted by a single breach, the healthcare organization must notify all local, prominent media outlets as well as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

According to Hulme's study, patients are also losing financially while coping with a privacy breach. Some recent statistics include:

  • On average, $20,000 is spent resolving a single privacy breach
  • More than 50% of patients were not even aware that the breach occurred until after a year transpired
  • 32% faced increased health insurance costs
  • 50% switched business to a competitor

Over time, ROI tasks have become much more complex than simply clicking a mouse or photocopying sheets of paper to reproduce a health record; there are intricate laws specified by HIPAA and other regulatory bodies that have been passed by the government that must be adhered to. If not, healthcare providers not only face a negative impact to their practices, but also face severe financial burdens. Providers all across the nation are being fined for violations related to ROI endeavors because of the strains within their own HIM departments.

HIM departments are being forced to spend significant time and resources on a myriad of audits and complying with government regulations that make it difficult to conduct ROI tasks responsibly without error. As a result, it makes sense for healthcare organizations to reassess their positions on outsourcing if they conduct ROI endeavors in-house. Outsourcing ROI responsibilities to trained professionals with the expertise and knowledge of HIPAA and other regulations will provide the security that healthcare providers are looking for during these tough economic times.

Bonnie Coffey is the immediate past president of The Association of Health Information Outsourcing Services, and president and CEO of CM Information Specialists and Attain Document Services. She may be reached at

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