FCC advisory panel releases best practices to prevent hospital robocalls

A Federal Communications Commission advisory panel this week recommended best practices for voice service providers, hospitals, and federal and state governments to prevent unlawful robocalls from disrupting communications in hospitals. John Riggi, AHA’s senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk, represented the field and AHA on the panel, the Hospital Robocall Protection Group.

“As our nation’s hospitals face steep challenges during this unprecedented pandemic, I applaud the thorough and focused efforts of the HRPG to quickly create effective guidelines based on the direction provided in the TRACED Act,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The recommendations issued today will help us all work together to put an end to the scourge of robocalls that impact public health and safety for patients and communities across America.”

Riggi said, “Hospitals face a broad range of unlawful calling activities from telephone denial-of-service attacks to targeted social engineering and phishing schemes. Robocalls can disrupt critical communications, threaten patient privacy, facilitate cyberattacks, result in unauthorized access to prescription drugs and divert hospital resources. Hospitals can greatly reduce the impact of these calls by educating staff, working with voice service providers and reporting incidents to federal and state regulatory and law enforcement authorities.”

For more on this and other cybersecurity and risk issues, hospital and health system leaders may contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org.

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