There's not enough incentive to keep healthcare data safe

The grim message following a breach that has endangered sensitive data belonging to 80 million current and former Anthem health insurance customers is that we can only expect more — and potentially larger — health care data breaches in the future. The Anthem data breach, first detected on Jan. 27 — the largest in the history of the health care industry — fits a clear trend. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recorded 13 breaches involving data belonging to 500 or more patients. By 2013, the number grew to 256, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of a list of health care data breaches the federal government is required to maintain.


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