Healthcare Data Breaches Persist

Americans may be shocked to learn that their personal health information may not be as private as they thought, even a decade after a new law was enacted to strengthen protections for health privacy.

Since the autumn of 2009, the federal government received reports of more than 400 large healthcare data breaches affecting at least 500 people and more than 50,000 smaller breaches, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In September 2011, one of the largest healthcare data breaches in medical records history occurred when thieves stole computer tapes that contained information on almost 5 million people enrolled in TRICARE - the largest health program for military members, their families and retirees in the U.S.

Other healthcare data breaches involved personal information being revealed on unsecured public websites. One instance occurred in California where the diagnosis codes and names of nearly 20,000 patients at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto were posted on a public website for almost an entire year before it was noticed last September and taken down.

“Today, medical data are among the most sought-after data for committing fraud," says Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit public interest research group.

If you think you have experienced a data breach, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation and to find out if you have grounds to pursue legal action. Call us today at (877) 490-6520.