A Recap of 2014’s Largest HIPAA Breaches

HIPAA privacy and security breaches have resulted in compromising the protected health information of nearly 42 million people since 2009.

Why?

Covered entities and business associates fail to safeguard patients’ protected health information.

We help our clients ensure the safety of their patients’ PHI by creating and implementing a thorough risk assessment plan.

As 2014 comes to an end, we can look back at the biggest breaches of year, as reported by Healthcare IT News:

1. Touchstone Medical Imaging

In May of 2014, 307,528 individuals’ information was available over the internet. The information included medical diagnoses, health insurance data, radiology procedures, and patient identifier information – including Social Security numbers.

2. Los Angeles County

342,197 individuals were affected in February of 2014 when the county’s third-party billing vendor was robbed of eight unencrypted computers.

3. Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Between July – May 2014, 1.3 million people had their information compromised when hackers gained access to an agency server.

4. Texas Health and Human Services Commission

In May of 2014, 2 million individuals were victims of a breach when the Texas Health and Human Services Commission terminated its Medicaid contract with Xerox, and failed to return health records of the state’s Medicaid patients.

5. Community Health Systems

4.5 million Individuals were affected by the breach that occurred in April – June of 2014 when cybercriminals stole patient information.

Lessons to be learned for the New Year:

Breaches are here to stay and can happen to any practice, no matter the size.  Breaches are expected to get worse in 2015, not better.

It is essential that you prepare your practice by performing a HIPAA risk assessment, and implementing the necessary policies and procedures. Practices should also make sure to have a plan to deal with the aftermath of a breach.

In our next blog post, we will keep you informed of related issues.  To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, click here to Subscribe

Do you need help with your HIPAA risk assessment or breach readiness plan?  We can help. To contact us about your HIPAA risk assessment, your breach readiness plan or your other legal needs:  CLICK HERE.

P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.

 

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