KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Improvements Needed To Safeguard Medical Records

Medpage Today: Better Safeguards Urged For Medical Records
Hacking into patient medical records can be as easy as tapping into a hospital's unsecured wireless network from a laptop in the parking lot. Government auditors proved it "by sitting in hospital parking lots with simple laptop computers" and obtaining "patient information from unsecured hospital wireless networks," according to Julie K. Taitsman, M.D., J.D., and colleagues from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). … Nearly 300,000 Medicare beneficiary numbers have been compromised and are now being tracked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the article. The HHS' Office for Civil Rights has received more than 77,000 complaints about health information breaches. The office has been able to take action in 18,000 cases stemming from 27,000 investigations, the authors said (Struck, 2/28).

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