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HIPAA Data Breaches in 2017 – Another Record Breaking Year!

Unfortunately as promised, 2017 brought many challenges to properly protecting patient information in healthcare. We saw a record number of data breaches in 2016 with cybersecurity being on a fast and furious rise. In 2017, the trend continued with many healthcare organizations being hit with different cybersecurity attacks, resulting in data breaches. However, on top of the increase in cybersecurity issues, many other reasons for data breaches emerged. A total of 340 large data breaches (500+ individuals impacted) were reported in 2017 impacting 4,977,655 individuals!

Some key highlights from the 2017 HIPAA Data Breaches!

Healthcare providers continue to lead in the number of data breaches. This should come as no surprise as there are more healthcare providers than health plans and healthcare clearinghouses in the United States. Of the 340 large data breaches:

  • 274 were reported by covered entities (81%)
  • 49 were reported from health plans (14%)
  • 17 were reported from business...
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The Complete Guide To Reporting A Healthcare Data Breach The Right Way

Reporting a Data Breach to HHS – Collect All the Information the First time

As of today, there have been 1694 data breaches reported to The Department of Health and Human Services, which have impacted over 168 million individuals. The numbers continue to increase at a rapid pace with a clear concern for data breaches in 2016 and continuing forward into 2017. The final breach notification rule requires that healthcare organizations conduct a data breach investigation on each and every unauthorized use and disclosure of protected health information to determine if there is a “low probability that the information is compromised.” What does that actually mean and how do you prove “low probability?”

To start, a Breach risk assessment should be completed on each unauthorized use or disclosure of protected health information. As part of the breach risk assessment, four objectives questions must be asked and answered Every Time an investigation is...

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