Health Breach Tally Could Soon Reach 10 Million

As of last Thursday, 3/24, 249 breach incidents affecting 8.3 million individuals have been reported since the HITECH Act breach notification rule went into effect in September 2009.  How many have really been fellow citizens Protected Health Information (PHI) has actually been breached is another matter!

With the recent Health Net incident estimated to affect nearly 1.9 million individuals, experts speculate the health breach tally will reach 10 million individuals affected very soon. 

Data from the Health and Human Services (HHS) "Wall of Shame" shows more than half of the incidents listed were the result of the theft or loss of computer devices.  Another issue that has had significant impact is unprotected storage media.  Of the 8.3 million individuals affected since September 2009, the impact to 3.6 million of them resulted from unprotected storage media. 

If your company handles PHI, it is important to consider the security of all aspects of company technology.  Most breaches on the HHS list involve technology we all use on a regular basis, often without thinking about the potential consequences of misplacement.  The takeaway here is that enforcement is tough and the repercussions significant.  If you are concerned about your data security or need help complying with HIPAA security regulations:

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