House Democrat Seeks Hearing To Examine CHS’ Data Breach

September 15, 2014 in News

A House Democrat has sent a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair asking for a hearing to investigate the recent data breach at Community Health Systems, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 9/15).

Background

Last month, Community Health Systems announced that an external group of hackers attacked its computer network and stole the non-medical data of 4.5 million patients.

Five Alabama residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the health system alleging that the provider did not inform those potentially affected by a data breach in a timely manner (iHealthBeat, 9/3).

Letter Details

In the letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urged committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to investigate the breach in an effort to identify ways to better protect patient data (Gold, “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 9/10).

Cummings wrote, “Cybersecurity threats are an ongoing challenge for both the federal government and the private sector.” He added, “I believe an investigation of the data security breach at [CHS] will help the committee learn from these witnesses about security vulnerabilities they have experienced in order to better protect our federal information technology assets” (Cummings’ letter, 9/9).

For example, Cummings noted that such an investigation could help lawmakers as they work to examine potential security vulnerabilities in the federal health insurance exchange (FierceHealthIT, 9/15).

Issa has not publicly commented on the CHS data breach, according to Politico‘s “Morning eHealth” (“Morning eHealth, Politico, 9/10).

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