Cost of data breaches in 2015 surpasses overall federal IT investment

For all the money invested into digitizing medical records since 2009's HITECH Act, an equal amount has been paid in 2015 alone to mitigate data breaches and the heightened risk of having those records digitized, finds an Indianapolis Business Journal report.

Since the HITECH Act was passed, the federal government has spent nearly $30 billion in incentives to encourage digital records. Along with that project came the risk, and the actual issues, of data breaches and cyberattacks.

This year, the healthcare industry has shelled out approximately $37 billion to handle cyberattacks and security breaches. IBJ sites a report from the American Action Forum that projects the total cost of Anthem's breach fallout alone will cost more than $31 billion, using the Ponemon Institute's estimated cost of $398 per stolen record.

"Widespread of use electronic medical records could bring beneficial change to the healthcare system in a variety of ways, largely because they are the foundational piece to many technologies and analyses that could change healthcare delivery," Tara O'Neil, healthcare policy analyst at the American Action Forum, wrote in the report. "Unfortunately, these advances come with significant costs, both financially and in terms of personal privacy."

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