Stolen Laptop Leads to 20-Year FTC Oversight for Accretive Health

Medical billing and revenue management services vendor Accretive Health has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations the company's data security measures do not adequately protect consumer data.

The FTC's investigation into Accretive's data practices was sparked by a 2011 data breach, in which 23,500 patients' data was compromised when a laptop was stolen from an employee's car.

The FTC alleged Accretive created unnecessary risk by allowing employees to transport laptops with patient information in their cars, and by not ensuring employees' computers contained only the patient information necessary for their job functions.

Under the terms of the settlement, Accretive must develop and deploy a comprehensive data security policy that will be evaluated initially and every two years by a certified third party. The settlement will be in effect for the next 20 years.

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