Healthcare Data: Protections and Hemorrhages
Hemorrhages of patient health data fuel identity theft and privacy violations. Given the fragmented nature of the US healthcare system, data hemorrhages come from many different sources—ambulatory healthcare providers, acute-care hospitals, physician groups, medical laboratories, insurance carriers, back-offices of health maintenance organizations, and outsourced service providers such as billing, collection, and transcription firms. While the US HIPAA legislation on privacy and security went into effect over five years ago, healthcare information security remains a significant concern as organizations migrate to electronic health records. The recent HITECH legislation aimed at accelerating this migration contained mandates for greater security, including the addition of new requirements on breach reporting. In this chapter, we overview both HIPAA and HITECH and examine their impact on data hemorrhages.We then take a look at the types of data that are lost and how these leaks occur in healthcare. To illustrate the issues, we include results from our ongoing research and a case study illustrating the disturbingly private patient information that is exposed.
KeywordsElectronic Health Records Health Information Technology Incentive Payment Electronic Health Records System Social Security Number
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