Healthcare data breaches started slowly in 2019 but saw gradual increases through January, eventually averaging one per day for the month. Of the 31 security breaches in January, hacking and other IT security incidents such as ransomware and malware attributed to more three-quarters of the incidents. The largest reported incident was Las Colinas Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine where 76,000 individuals were affected. For January, a total of 483,000 individuals were affected. For the quarter, there were a total of 94 breaches.
As required by section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act, the Secretary must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals. The infographic to the right illustrates the statistics from Q1 2019 of all healthcare-related data breaches. 2018 was a record year for HIPAA enforcement. OCR’s HIPAA fines and settlements totaled $28,683,400, beating the previous record of $23,505,300 set in 2016 by 22%. 2018 also saw the largest ever HIPAA settlement agreed. Anthem Inc., agreed to pay OCR $16,000,000 to resolve HIPAA violations discovered during the investigation of its 78.8 million-record data breach of 2015.
Optimum Healthcare IT has in-depth experience helping healthcare organizations address their security and compliance needs. We offer a wide range of services, from strategy development to implementation of technology and processes to minimize risks. Our clients include large healthcare systems, community hospitals, and healthcare technology providers who need to ensure that their information technology platforms remain secure and meet regulatory requirements.
Don’t be a victim of a security breach. Breach avoidance should be your goal. Let Optimum Healthcare IT help you today. For additional information on how we help our clients, please click here to review a recent case study about how Optimum saved a client $6M in security remediation costs and another $5-$7M in breach avoidance.