Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Multiple Data Privacy Breaches and ID Thefts in South FL

The IRS says identity theft affects many industries, not just hospitals. But according to HHS reports, health insurance companies have had breaches affecting millions of Floridians.

The south Miami case is the latest hospital ID theft to surface in South Florida. Since 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services has received reports that hundreds of thousands of patients have been affected by breaches at hospitals across South Florida.

The largest breaches include Memorial Healthcare System with 111,650 patients affected, the University of Miami Health System with 66,065 people, Mount Sinai Medical Center with 2,600 patients and Jackson Health System with 2,062 patients.

"The bad guys buy social security numbers from employees at hospitals and medical centers for up to $150 each."
- IRS Special Agent in Charge of Miami office, Tony Gonzalez
Last year, Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood notified 9,500 patients that two employees were fired because they may have inappropriately accessed patients' personal information with the intent to process fraudulent tax returns.

Although as one hospital "reinforced the importance of the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ information with its staff and affiliated physicians’ employees,” technology for proactive privacy data breach detection should be utilized, so as not to learn of the problem from law enforcement agencies.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Hospital Identity Theft Found at Some South Florida Hospitals - Private Officer News Network, 03/22/2013

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