Report: Data breaches, patient identity thefts still a threat despite new laws

From CMIO:

Despite new regulations in the HITECH Act, data breaches and medical identity theft remains at critical levels throughout hospitals in the U.S., where 83.6 percent of providers have data breaches every year, according to a report from identity theft prevention contractor Identity Force.

The Framingham, Mass.-based Identity Force surveyed 220 compliance executives from American Hospital Association-member hospitals in 43 states from March 30 to April 13 to evaluate whether hospitals are in compliance with the HITECH Act and to evaluate whether state and federal data breach and security laws and regulations have had an impact on identity theft-related matters.

The annual survey found that 41.5 percent of hospitals have 10 or more data breaches each year–a 120.7 percent increase over the prior survey–and that 20.3 percent of hospitals have 20 or more breaches annually.

“The frequency of data breaches at hospitals far exceeds what is publicly reported,” stated the report. “This under-reporting is likely no different than other sectors of our economy, however it raises great concern that patients’ personally identifiable information is extremely vulnerable.”

Read more on CMIO.

You can get a free copy of Identify Force’s report, Spring 2010 National Survey of Hospital Compliance Executives, here.

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