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Funding Cyber Security Training in Healthcare Industry

A need for cyber security awareness is growing fast at most of today’s businesses and companies. All business sectors require cyber security training including the medical field where companies receiver special funding for information security training, cyber security education and cyber security courses. Most of that funding comes from the American Recovery Act and various agencies/departments that want to increase cyber security awareness among medical professionals.

Besides funding for education, healthcare, housing, and transportation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides funding for cyber security in healthcare industry. The numbers are very impressive:

  • 2009 billion provided for development of healthcare IT.
  • $2 billion is given to help healthcare providers for certain systems. However, if health care providers refuse to adopt certain systems, the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements are reduced.
  • Veteran’s Health Administration will receive $950 million for construction projects at veteran’s hospitals.
  • Funding for medical schools as well and Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR), which can cut costs through fewer errors and faster procedures.
  • 41 community colleges will be awarded over $125 million to create training for job sectors including healthcare.

Certain medical organizations could be excluded from the stimulus package. One word could bar medical organizations from receiving funding. According to an article in The (Fort Myers, Fla) News Press, Lee Memorial Health System could lose $10 million in stimulus money over being named a “hospital”. Lee Memorial Health System shares a medical provider with HealthPark Medical Center. Together through stimulus wording, they equal only 1 hospital and are only eligible for one set of federal appropriation.

Other funds are distributed through various organizations (government and non-government):

  • Aside from medical schools, Mohawk Valley Community College received a $2.8 million grant from U.S. Department of Labor and it will train over $2,000 people.
  • Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality has given $260 million dollars in grants and contracts to health IT.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has allowed $12 million to rural health networks across the nation. Funds will go to 40 organizations that will receive $300,000 to purchase technology.

All of these funds distributed to health IT have a direct impact on cybersecurity because more companies will need to hire people who can fight hackers. It is a win-win situation for both the economy and companies who receive the funding for security awareness training, but an important question remains. When much of the stimulus money finally runs out, how will the industry fund cybersecurity? Regardless of how this problem is solved, cyber security will remain a great need for the medical field in the years to come.