Theft of patient data leads 2011 top data breaches

Rounding up our data breach reporting for 2011: according to industry watchdog group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), three of this year’s top six data breaches involved stolen patient data. The thefts took place at Sutter Health [TA 28 Nov], Health Net and Tricare/SAIC (military records). The records included Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, financial accounts and patient data. These accounted for nearly 11 million records of a total identified 30.4 million sensitive records and 535 identified breaches. With no security solution in sight, it’s an easy bet that it will become worse rather than better. Yet providers withhold breaches as well as HHS, according to Modern Healthcare— information that is supposed to be made public under ARRA. iHealthBeat, Modern Healthcare (registration may be required.)