More than 347k HITECH breaches since 2009 — What gives?

Since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was implemented in 2009, HHS' Office for Civil Rights has received a total of 247,090 breaches of patient data, according to Health Information Privacy/Security Alert.

Roughly 344,823 of those breaches affected fewer than 500 patients each, but 2,267 of them appeared on OCR's "Wall of Shame" — a publicly accessible data breach portal that displays HIPAA violations affecting more than 500 individuals.

HITECH established the reporting rules associated with HIPAA violations, in which organizations who fail to protect patients' protected health information must report breaches of more than 500 individuals to OCR's public portal. Since it was implemented, approximately 178 million individuals have been affected by major breaches.

"There is a lot more to HIPAA enforcement than resolution agreements and audits. Healthcare organizations, contractors and mobile app developers face perilous times if they fail to recognize this," said Dennis Melamed, editor of Health Information Privacy/Security Alert. "Most people don't realize that healthcare entities and their contractors have had to either change their practices or discipline employees tens of thousands of times since 2009 because of HITECH."

More articles on cybersecurity:
15 healthcare privacy incidents in April
Ransomware infects computers at Center for Orthopedics Specialists; clinic notifies 85k
Transcription service MEDantex leaks medical records

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