Theft Leading Cause of Health Data Breaches, HHS Says

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The most common cause of large health data breaches in 2010 was theft, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights.

The 11-page report covers breaches covers breaches of more than 500 individuals between Sept. 23, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010, affecting entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

More than 48 percent of breaches in 2010 involved theft, with the largest reported theft affecting nearly 1.9 million individuals. The breach involved the theft of electronic medical record information saved on back-up devices. Laptop theft caused more than 20 percent of breaches in 2010, the report says.

Under the HITECH Act, the HHS secretary is required to submit an annual report to Congress detailing breaches and steps taken to prevent future breaches. HIPAA-covered entities are required to notify affected individuals, HHS and in some cases the media of data breaches.

Click here to read the full report.

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One comment

  1. The findings from this report seem to coincide with the overall finding of Data DB. When you actually take a look at the statistics for the causes of data breaches you’ll find that they are more often the result of laptop thefts rather than hackings. Its good to see that some people aren’t getting swept up in the paranoia of hackings.

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