Healthcare Data Breaches In The Age Of HIPAA — A Chronic Or An Acute Condition?

A recent study by the law firm Baker Hostetler revealed more healthcare data breaches occurred in 2015 than any other type of data security event. The report agrees with previous analyses indicating healthcare is consistently one of the industries most affected by privacy and security violations.

Violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) are especially difficult to detect and potentially calamitous because of that difficulty. If a single Social Security number leaves a healthcare provider’s facility, the loss can be catastrophic to the holder of that Social Security number. Almost by definition, data losses by smaller providers don’t hit the radar, or the headlines, but that doesn’t diminish their power to do real damage. In the case of that Social Security breach, every patient that provider serves is a victim as well. And smaller organizations have both a harder time being secure and being aware of their security situation.

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