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Health Data at High Value, High Risk

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

December 7, 2011

Government Health IT discusses the findings of the Ponemon Institute's second annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security in an interview with institute founder Larry Ponemon, CIPP, and Rick Kam, CIPP, president of ID Experts, which sponsored the study. Health data breaches are up 26 percent from last year, according to the study, and noting that notification requirements may have had an effect, Ponemon points to increased "criminal enterprise around data theft" and says that breach numbers appear to be on the rise across the board. Unlike other forms of data, says Kam, healthcare data "cannot be put back into the box." Ponemon says balancing security with efficiency, financial challenges and a cultural focus on healing--not data protection--are possible explanations for providers' lack of proper protections.
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