An ‘interesting’ year ahead in healthcare

Industry expert addresses the biggest healthcare PL questions for 2018

An ‘interesting’ year ahead in healthcare

Professional Risks

By Heather Turner

As 2017 comes to an end, more questions than answers remain in today’s healthcare space.  Advancing technologies, company mergers and changing regulations have shaped an uncertain future for the healthcare profession.

We spoke with Sapphire Blue’s chief underwriting officer Debra Goldberg to best understand what questions will be top of mind moving into 2018.

“Top of the list is what will happen with healthcare providers in terms of cyber and securing the data they have on hand,” she says. “For example, there have been talks about the vulnerabilities in implanted pacemakers; so, one question that comes up is how providers will address that? It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next few years.”

On that same note, ransomware and computer viruses have historically disrupted the provision of healthcare. Moving forward, there will be a focus on how healthcare providers assess and address ever-evolving cyber threats. As Goldberg explains, “There’s a lot of talk about large healthcare systems trying to implement blockchain technology to secure their data. That might be a whole new approach to mitigating the cyber risks that health facilities face, and that leaves a question of how it will all play out and work moving ahead?”

In addition, mergers in the healthcare space, particularly vertical mergers where single entities move into different areas of healthcare, also begs the question of how those moves will alter healthcare professionals’ risks and liabilities, says Goldberg.

Ultimately, according to Goldberg, the future of healthcare risk across all areas remains up in the air. With the future of the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance, how providers navigate the risks of patient healthcare next year will be interesting to see.

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