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March 2, 2018

The Top 4 Cybersecurity Threats for Long-Term/Post-Acute Care in 2018

By Bradley J. Sayles

Provider

In the March edition of Provider, Nelson Mullins attorney Brad Sayles authored an article discussing four areas in which long/term post-acute care providers need to update their security policies in 2018 against ransomware and other threats. Sayles is of counsel in the firm’s Nashville office.

“The health care profession has undergone massive digitization in recent years with the emergence of interconnected medical devices and the broader exchange of health care information. In less than a decade, nearly all hospitals and physician offices have adopted electronic health record (EHR) systems. While long-term and post-acute care (LT/PAC) adoption of EHRs still lags behind other settings, referring and treating providers, pharmacy vendors, and others have helped speed up EHR adoption.

“Many LT/PAC providers face unique resource challenges due in part to budget constraints, such as inadequate information technology (IT) infrastructures, staffing constraints, and various barriers across multiple facilities. Experts have found that these providers ‘are implementing or updating their IT systems in a gradual but haphazard manner,’ according to a 2014 issue of the Journal of Health Organization and Management. This leaves the LT/PAC community particularly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.”