It's no secret that healthcare providers have a lot to worry about — and it's not easy when you run a small business in addition to taking care of patients. Each day you have a dozen things to worry about, including…
So let's make your risk management a little easier. We'll look at a few statistics that highlight some of the biggest risk exposures your business faces and potential growth areas for healthcare businesses.
Social media can be trouble for healthcare professionals.
Patients are going online and expecting to be able to contact their physicians about treatment. And for the most part, physicians have responded. According to QuantiaMD , 67 percent of medical practitioners use social media for professional purposes, but many use it haphazardly. The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that 17 percent of physician blogs had enough information that patients could be identified, and the Federation of State Medical Boards reports that 92 percent of state medical board executives saw standards violations in physician behavior online. As always, medical professionals need to be careful about what they do and say online.
Healthcare data breaches are costly — and preventable.
Healthcare data breaches are often caused by simple mistakes: more than one-quarter were caused by lost portable memory devices, reports Compliance Week, and Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigation Report found that nearly half resulted from loss and theft. When the Department of Health and Human Safety began auditing healthcare businesses in 2013, it was shocked that 89 percent failed to meet HITECH standards. These laws are the strictest data privacy laws in the country, and can fine a business as much as $50,000 per violation, up to $1.5 million per year. Data breaches can and do happen, and most of the time, they're caused by human error. Physical theft or loss is one of the leading causes of healthcare breaches, so make sure you guard against it.
Massage therapy is a great growth area for small businesses.
The American Message Therapy Association found that more than half of all massage therapy businesses are sole practitioners. It can be a struggle for sole practitioners to compete against big providers. However, in areas like massage therapy, the majority of businesses are sole practitioners, so it's no surprise that this is a strong area for small business and job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 23 percent job growth for massage therapy by 2022, much faster than average. (Learn more about massage therapist insurance.)