What's the Latest Development?

As patient records are increasingly digitized,, an unintended consequence is that health data breaches are surging. The number of reported breaches is up 32 percent this year from last year, according to a security research group. These breaches cost the industry about $6.5 billion last year. In almost half the cases, a lost or stolen phone or personal computer was responsible.

What's the Big Idea?

Federal law requires health organizations to report data breaches that affect more than 500 people. The Department of Health and Human Services's Office of Civil Rights publishes the equivalent of a data breach “Wall of Shame” on its Web site–which today includes 380 breaches affecting more than 18 million people.

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