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Would you know what dental records laws apply if your practice has a data breach?

In today’s high-tech world, a data breach could happen to anyone — even the best of us. But would you know what your responsibilities are if your patients’ private information is accidentally or maliciously exposed?

● Would you know how to notify your patients?
● Would you know what steps to take to make sure you’re compliant with dental HIPAA laws?
● Would you know how to avoid hefty state or federal fines?

If your practice has a data breach, it could be very costly and time-consuming. The cost of notifying everyone involved, and the cost to your professional reputation, could cripple your business.  

Cyber security insurance offered by DMC’s sister company, Dentists Benefits Corporation, and underwritten by Chubb can help protect you against large fines and penalties associated with a data breach.

Cyber fraud is growing

Unfortunately, cyber fraud is becoming more and more common. Skilled international hackers are targeting unsuspecting healthcare providers, including dentists, to steal patient information.

State and federal privacy laws require you to protect your patients’ confidential information. Encrypted software, such as DAISY, along with firewall and antivirus software can certainly help protect your practice. However, there are other risks, from printouts and hard copy files to third-party software. And with so many mobile devices, external hard drives and smartphones used as part of your daily business, dentists are very much at risk for data breaches.

Meanwhile, federal laws are becoming more stringent. The HITECH Act now enforces HIPAA violations, and the Office of Civil Rights investigates all data breaches involving more than 500 patient records. You simply won’t have a choice but to notify everyone involved if your patients’ private information is exposed.  

Dental data protection is more important than ever

If your patient data is exposed, the fines and other legal implications could cost your practice tens of thousands of dollars.

With a single breach, you could be on the hook for the costs of notifying everyone involved, plus fines with a maximum of $1.5 million per incident. These penalties are so costly, they could actually put your practice out of business. One dentist recently hit by foreign hackers had more than 4,000 patient records exposed, including names, Social Security numbers and financial information. The total out-of-pocket expense for managing the fallout from this breach is $100,000 — and climbing.

Just one slip-up could cause state and federal privacy laws to come into play. And because laws differ by state, you may be subject to dental records laws you weren’t even aware of.

Cyber security insurance can help protect you

Your dental practice is your livelihood, and you owe it to yourself and your staff to protect it. DMC is proud to be a resource for our clients, and we’d like to let you know about a product that can offer protection.

Our sister company, Dentists Benefits Corporation, offers a cyber liability policy underwritten by Chubb, a premier provider of cyber security insurance. This policy can protect dentists from the fallout of data breaches, including coverage for:  
•    Regulatory fines and penalties
•    The cost of notifying everyone involved
•    Credit monitoring expenses
•    Reputational damages

For more information or to fill out an application, visit You can also call Linda Spencer at 800-452-0504.