Medical data breach

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A medical data breach is a data breach of health information, and could include either the personal health information of any individual's electronic health record or medical billing information from their health insurance. In the United States the rate of breaches has increased over time, with 176 million records breached by the end of 2017.[1][2]

Black market for health data[edit]

In February 2015 an NPR report claimed that organized crime networks had ways of selling health data in the black market.[3]

In 2015 a Beazley Group staffperson estimated that medical records could sell on the black market for US$40-50.[4]

Crime is the primary cause of medical data breaches.[5]

How data is lost[edit]

Theft, data loss, hacking, and unauthorized account access are ways in which medical data breaches happen.[6] Among reported breaches of medical information in the United States networked information systems accounted for the largest number of records breached.[2]

List of data breaches[edit]


In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act require companies to report data breaches to affected individuals and the federal government.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liu, Vincent; Musen, Mark A.; Chou, Timothy (2015-04-14). "Data breaches of protected health information in the United States". JAMA. 313 (14): 1471–1473. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2252. ISSN 1538-3598. PMC 4479128. PMID 25871675.
  2. ^ a b McCoy, Thomas H.; Perlis, Roy H. (September 25, 2018). "Temporal Trends and Characteristics of Reportable Health Data Breaches, 2010-2017". JAMA. 320 (12): 1282–1284. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9222. ISSN 1538-3598. PMC 6233611. PMID 30264106.
  3. ^ Shahani, Aarti (13 February 2015). "The Black Market For Stolen Health Care Data : All Tech Considered : NPR". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  4. ^ Abelson, Reed; Goldstein, Matthew (5 February 2015). "Anthem Hacking Points to Security Vulnerability of Health Care Industry". The New York Times. New York: NYTC. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  5. ^ Richards, Robbie (16 November 2015). "Healthcare data breaches present a $6 billion threat". Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. ^ Millman, Jason (19 August 2014). "Health care data breaches have hit 30M patients and counting". The Washington Post. Washington DC: WPC. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  7. ^ "CMS Reports Data Breach in ACA Agent and Broker Portal".
  8. ^ Koczkodaj, Waldemar W.; Mazurek, Mirosław; Strzałka, Dominik; Wolny-Dominiak, Alicja; Woodbury-Smith, Marc (2018). "Electronic Health Record Breaches as Social Indicators". Social Indicators Research. doi:10.1007/s11205-018-1837-z.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Fischer, Kristen (28 September 2014). "The 7 Biggest Health Data Breaches in the US (So Far)". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Columbia Medical Center, Hospital To Pay $4.8M Fine for Data Breach". iHealthBeat. California HealthCare Foundation. 8 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  11. ^ Office of Civil Rights (26 July 2013). "Breach Notification Rule". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]