Health Records Hacked

Leah Barkoukis

2/6/2012 3:52:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

 

In his Address to Joint Session of Congress in February of 2009, President Obama stated that, “our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives.”

But Redspin, a leading IT security assessment company, determined quite the opposite.

The [Redspin’s] annual survey, "Breach Report 2011, Protected Health Information,” found breaches in all 50 states, and examined a total of 385 incidents affecting over 19 million individuals since the HITECH Act's breach notification rule went into effect in August 2009.

This translates to a 97 percent increase in health data breaches from 2010 to 2011.

As physicians and hospitals all over the country rush to implement electronic medical records by 2014 or face considerable penalties by 2015, the level of attention given to securing health information ought to become a priority.

According to Healthcare IT News, the Redspin study also found that:

Malicious attacks (theft, hacking, and insider incidents) continue to cause 60 percent of all breaches due to the economic value of a personal health record sold on the black market and for medical ID theft used to commit Medicare fraud, the study found.

If implementation without more rigorous IT protection continues, the only certainty is that your medical history, often accompanied by date of birth and social security numbers- will be hacked. This is the kind of performance delivered in only one year with government involvement in your healthcare. What’s next? More errors? Increased costs? Or worse, lives lost