Survey: More than two-thirds of healthcare companies affected by fraud last year

Nearly 70 percent of healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives around the world said their company was affected by fraud during the past year, according to a report from Kroll. However, only 36 percent reported they would be investing in management controls in the coming year.

The report included input from 768 senior executives across multiple industries in which fraud has increased steadily.

Management conflict of interest (17 percent), theft of physical assets or stock (14 percent) and regulatory or compliance breach (14 percent) were the top three areas of frequent loss within the healthcare industry, according to the report. Although intellectual property (IP) theft was further down the list, at just 13 percent, it was more pervasive in healthcare than any other industry.  

Companies remained particularly vulnerable to corruption and bribery, and information theft, loss or attack. This year, healthcare payers and providers have weathered a barrage of cybersecurity attacks, including one against Anthem that exposed the information of 80 million members and created multiple potential inroads to fraud. A study published at the beginning of the year indicated that medical identity theft increased 22 percent since 2013.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents in the Kroll survey said their exposure to fraud has increased, pointing to high staff turnover and increased outsourcing and offshoring as major drivers of that exposure. Outsourcing and offshoring have been identified as common routes for IP theft, according to the report, but just 18 percent of respondents indicated their company will enhance IP protection in the coming year.

Previous surveys have shown that the healthcare industry is devoting more money toward fraud detection software, although more companies are looking at supplementing technology with human expertise.  

For more:
- here's the Kroll fraud report

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