Healthcare Breach List Hits 150 Mark

Dom Nicastro, September 7, 2010

The number of healthcare entities reporting breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals has crossed the 150 mark, nearly one year after the first such breach was reported.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) breach notification website lists 153 entities as of Thursday, Sept. 2. The HIPAA privacy and security rule enforcer began publishing the breaches in February of this year, per the HITECH, but breaches date back to September 22, 2009.

The list is required in the breach notification interim final rule, which is in effect but under review by OCR before a final rule is submitted to the Office of Management Budget (OMB).

Hospitals and provider networks account for the highest number of breaches on the list, according to numbers recorded in August by Christopher Hourihan, manager of common security framework (CSF) development and operations at HITRUST, the Health Information Trust Alliance in Frisco, Texas.

Hourihan’s latest update reports that hospitals and provider networks account for 50 breaches, followed by physician practices at 35. Insurance plans experienced the third highest number of breaches with 26 or 18%.

However, when looking at the number of individuals affected by the breaches, insurance plans accounted for 58% or 2.8 million records.


Dom Nicastro Dom Nicastro is a contributing writer. He edits the Medical Records Briefings newsletter and manages the HIPAA Update Blog.
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