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Breaches lead to push to protect medical data

The New York Times, June 1, 2011

Federal health officials call it the Wall of Shame. It's a government Web page that lists nearly 300 hospitals, doctors and insurance companies that have reported significant breaches of medical privacy in the last couple of years. Such lapses, frightening to consumers, could impede the Obama administration's effort to shift the nation to electronic healthcare records. "People need to be assured that their health records are secure and private," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, said in an interview by phone. "I feel equally strongly that conversion to electronic health records may be one of the most transformative issues in the delivery of healthcare, lowering medical errors, reducing costs and helping to improve the quality of outcomes."