Healthcare data breaches have doubled in 3 years: 5 things to know

In the last three years, the volume and frequency of healthcare data breaches have nearly doubled, from 368 in 2018 to 715 in 2021, BankInfoSecurity reported Nov. 23. 

Five things to know about the increase in healthcare data breaches:

  1. According to federal statistics, the number of individuals affected by the more than 5,000 major health data breaches since 2009 exceeds the total U.S. population. This indicates that some people likely have been the victims of more than one incident.

  2. As of Nov. 10, the Department of Health and Human Services' website has reported 595 breaches in 2022, affecting more than 40 million individuals.

  3. These attacks are not only compromising data from patients but are resulting in significant IT system disruptions that interfere with patient care.

  4. Data breaches are also increasingly costing health systems a lot of money. According to the report, San Diego-based Scripps Health incurred $112 million in costs in the first month after a May 2021 ransomware attack.

  5. In addition to cost, the number of lawsuits against health systems for data breaches are also increasing. According to the report, Los Angeles-based UCLA Health paid $7.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit in 2019 for a data breach.

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