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FBI Warning to Health Care Sector Holds True Re: Cyber Security

In April of this year, the FBI issued a Private Industry Notification (PIN) to the health care industry warning of the “likely increase [in] cyber intrusions against health care systems.” In the same month, and into June of this year, a group of hackers originating from China were launching a cyber-attack on the records of Community Health Systems, Inc., a health system headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee and the second largest for-profit health system in the United States. The breach was reported earlier this week and resulted in unauthorized access to the names, addresses, birth dates, telephone and social security numbers of 4.5 million patients. Although no clinical data was stolen, the patient information is protected under HIPAA, and the health system could face substantial monetary penalties for what could be the largest health data breach to date.

The breach and the FBI’s April PIN serve as important reminders of the vulnerabilities health care organizations face as they transition to electronic health records, and the importance of implementing a vigorous HIPAA compliance program to protect patient information.

© Copyright 2020 Dickinson Wright PLLCNational Law Review, Volume IV, Number 233
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2018 Go To Thought Leader AwardHospitals, medical professionals, insurance organizations and others in the healthcare industry face a number of industry-specific regulatory and compliance issues. Dickinson Wright’s interdisciplinary healthcare practice group has the expertise and experience to provide sophisticated, cost-effective legal services to a broad range...

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