Anthem, the country’s second largest insurance provider, agreed to pay the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) $16 million after a data breach in 2015 that affected nearly 79 million members and employees. Prior to the Anthem settlement, OCR’s biggest fine in connection with a data breach cost Florida-based Memorial Health System $5.5 million after a breach in 2017 that affected 115,000 people.
According to the OCR, the frequency of data breaches among healthcare organizations is only increasing, with 277 breaches occurring within the first nine months of 2018. To best avoid data breaches, the OCR recommends healthcare systems and insurers conduct frequent risk assessments to determine and address their cyber vulnerabilities.
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