VA sets aside $20 million to handle latest data breach

The Veterans Affairs Department has set aside more than $20 million to respond to its latest data breach, the agency’s top technology officer said Thursday. The department does not expect to spend the full $20 million, but designated that much because the breach potentially puts the identities of nearly a million physicians and VA patients at risk, said Bob Howard, the department’s chief information officer. Howard spoke at The E-Gov Institute’s Government Health IT Conference and Exhibition in Washington.
Its not cheap to try and save the credit of nearly a million doctors and VA patients, $20 Million. And there is no way and no amount of money that can repair a breach of medical privacy, because the exposed records can never be private again. This story shows why we need Congress to require the use of  ‘smart’ technology up front to build the health IT system, including state-of-the-art security measures and ironclad privacy controls.””We have no evidence that [information is at risk]. None whatsoever, but we don’t take the chance,” Howard said. “The attitude of the VA right now is if we think we’ve put anybody’s information at risk, then we need to step up to the plate and try to remedy that.”
The breach occurred in January, when a hard drive went missing from a Birmingham, Ala., VA medical research facility. The drive contained highly sensitive information on nearly all U.S. physicians and medical data for more than a half million VA patients. Any physician who billed Medicaid and Medicare through 2004 could be affected.
{Its not cheap to try and save the credit of nearly a million doctors and VA patients, $20 Million. And there is no way and no amount of money that can repair a breach of medical privacy, because the exposed records can never be private again. This story shows why we need Congress to require the use of  ‘smart’ technology up front to build the health IT system, including state-of-the-art security measures and ironclad privacy controls. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>