HHS overhauls 'Wall of Shame' breach reporting website

Office for Civil Rights says the site is now easier to navigate and only contains the last two years of healthcare organization and business associate breaches.
By Jessica Davis
11:29 AM
HHS breach reporting website

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has revised its online breach reporting tool for healthcare organizations and third-party business associates.

The tool now only lists the last two years of breaches, beginning with the most recent. OCR archived past breaches under a separate tab. Further, it’s overhauled the navigational tool with additional information and tips for patients.

Officials said the agency plans to continue to expand and improve on the site over time, which will included additional functionality and features based on provider feedback.

[Also: The biggest healthcare breaches of 2017 (so far)]

“Greater access to timely information strengthens consumer trust and transparency -- qualities central to the administration’s focus on a more innovative and effective government,” OCR Director Roger Severino said in a statement.

HHS released the tool in 2009 as part of the HITECH Act. HIPAA also requires covered entities to notify HHS of a breach when 500 or more individuals are affected, as well as affected individuals and the media.

Dubbed by many in the industry as the ‘Wall of Shame,’ the tool has been criticized for its negative impact. During the House Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee in June, Congressional members -- specifically Rep. Michael Burgess R-Texas -- said the tool victimizes the victims.

At that meeting, HHS Senior Adviser for Healthcare and Public Health Sector Cybersecurity Leo Scanlon said the agency was looking into revising the tool.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

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