Health care data breaches have hit 30M patients and counting

August 15, 2014
OROS Risk Solutions, LLC
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The recent theft of 4.5 million medical records by Chinese hackers highlights one undeniable truth about health care data: it’s valuable, and bad people want it. Hackers reportedly stole personal data from Community Health Systems patients, including their Social Security numbers, but it appears that their medical information and credit card numbers were not stolen.

Since the recent adoption of electronic health records there has been a need for tougher federal reporting requirements. Since these requirements kicked in, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ database has tracked 944 major breach incidents which has affected more than 30 million people. Majority of the stolen records are tied to theft, data loss, hacking and unauthorized access accounts.

43 percent of major data breaches in 2013 reflects that health care data has become increasingly targeted according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. The pace is projected to stay the same throughout 2014. There is concern about the health care industry’s ability to prevent and respond to data breaches. About 69 percent of health security professionals in a 2013 survey said their organization has a data breach plan in place and another 27 percent were still developing a strategy.


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