In a recent hearing of Senate Judiciary Committee's panel on privacy, technology and the law entitled "Your Health and Your Privacy: Protecting Health Information in a Digital World", experts called for stronger federal enforcement of health data breach violations.
Deven McGraw, director of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, gave testimony about the benefits and risks of a networked healthcare system, particularly noting that electronic health data breaches are "far too common" and that security measures like encryption lag industry-wide.
Protecting privacy is important not just to avoid harm, but because good health care depends on accurate and reliable information. 7 Without appropriate protections for privacy and security in the healthcare system, people will engage in “privacy- protective” behaviors to avoid having their protected health information (PHI) used inappropriately.
Deven McGraw, and other experts testifying on the panel, called for many changes to regulations including changes to HIPAA, greater transparency about enforcement, limits for uses of health information by contractors or associates, accountability for strong security measures and more. A great discussion takes place about how enforcement of penalties has increased security precautions.
You can watch a webcast of the hearing from the link here.