Data Breaches Cost $6 Billion to Healthcare Industry

November 19, 2010

The Ponemon Institute and ID Experts recently published the Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security. The study revealed that data breaches cost hospitals $6 billion, an astonishing figure.

The study was based on the interviews with 211 senior-level managers at 65 healthcare organizations on actual data loss and data theft experiences. Despite the passage of the HITECH Act, which was intended to provide safeguards for patient data, the study revealed some troubling facts:

HITECH has exposed the healthcare industry's lax data protection practices rather than improved the safety of patient records. The majority (71 percent) of respondents do not believe the HITECH Act regulations have significantly changed the management practices of patient records. The findings indicate that there is a significant number of data breaches that go undetected, and therefore unreported.

It is very unfortunate that patient privacy is so lowly regarded in the healthcare industry and it is to be hoped that the current costs, as well as fines now being levied for HIPAA violations.

Do you think that the industry still derives so much from patient revenue that these costs are just not tangible yet?


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