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Kaiser Permanente suffers new IT breach

April 07, 2014
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Thousands have been potentially affected by the discovery of a recent data breach that struck the major healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, and it shows once again that even big names can be targeted multiple times by criminals and forced to respond to such a situation. HIPAA violations can be far more common than one might suspect, and the risks need to be identified so that the problems can be corrected quickly.

Sometimes, these risks can go unnoticed for alarming periods of time. A form letter from Tracy Lieu of Kaiser Permanente's research division in northern California, was sent out to the 5,100 different patients whose data was on the compromised server. What's particular unnerving about this most recent case is that it reportedly stems from malware that has been present for three years. 

As usual, Lieu assures the affected patients in her letter that their Social Security numbers and electronic health records were not among the information that could have potentially been accessed or used against them.

"We have found no evidence to date that the information on the server or connected to the server was ever actually opened, copied, or used by any unauthorized persons," Dr. Lieu says.

Writing for HealthcareITNews, Erin McCann noted that this is the fourth time that Kaiser has been affected by such a breach in recent years. 49,000 accounts were made vulnerable by a different incident just last November.

Healthcare coding and consulting services might help your business stay closer to the rules and avoid any potentially dangerous risks like this that might endure for long periods of time. Malware will only become worse the longer you let it sit, so the practices should start trying to fortify their records systems in advance.