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'Wall of Shame' Exposes 21M Medical Record Breaches

CWmike (1292728) writes | about a year and a half ago

Medicine 1

CWmike writes "Over the past three years, about 21 million patients have had their medical records exposed in data security breaches that were big enough to require they be reported to the federal government. Since Sept. 2009, 477 breaches affecting 500 people or more each have been reported to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In total, the health records of 20,970,222 people have been compromised, the OCR said. It has been updating a list of the breaches on its website. The list is known to the health care industry as "The Wall of Shame." Six health care organizations listed on The Wall of Shame reported security breaches that involved one million or more records. How did this come about? The breach notification and reporting is part of new rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."
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1 comment

21 million patients... (1)

whydavid (2593831) | about a year and a half ago | (#40913289)

...and how many of them have been blackmailed, humiliated, or otherwise ruined by these breaches? Hopefully this will elicit a collective 'so what?' in the United States. People are dying every day because their providers don't have access to their complete health information while well-meaning organizations or individuals stand in the way of more effective sharing of health data out of fear of privacy breaches. This should teach us 2 things: 1) privacy breaches already happen en masse and do not require the existence of health information exchanges. 2) There is an astronomically low risk of your health data actually being used for nefarious purposes: blackmailing doesn't scale and is extremely risky, and targeted advertising based on your confidential information is too obvious and exposes the advertised-for company.
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