Skip to content Skip to navigation

Canadian Province Plans to Double Fines for Data Breaches

June 15, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins is planning on doubling the fines for breaches of patients’ medical records, as well as making it easier to prosecute offenders, according to multiple Canadian news media reports.

Hoskins is proposing new legislation later this year that would up violations of patients' privacy to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for the hospital or organization. It would also scrap a rule requiring that prosecutions start within six months of the alleged privacy breach, which Hoskins called "a serious barrier" to prosecuting offenders, according to a report from CTV News.

According to reports, the incidents of healthcare workers inappropriately accessing patients' private records at hospitals in Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Brantford, Toronto, Sarnia and elsewhere—in addition to workers at several hospitals accessing the health records of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford—got the attention of Hoskins. "It is often the high-profile cases and individuals by the nature of the breach that may get more attention," said Hoskins in the CTV News report. "I don't want to speak to the specifics that are being investigated and may be prosecuted."

The proposed bill would also make it mandatory to report privacy breaches to Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner and to the relevant regulatory colleges that govern health-care professionals. The privacy commissioner can't launch prosecutions, and can only refer the cases to the Attorney General, according to reports. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that patients can sue hospitals if their privacy was breached.



OSU Wexner Medical Center Receives AHIMA Grace Award

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) received the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) annual Grace Award in recognition of its leadership in health information management.

Kansas Health Information Network Expands its Network across State Lines

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) has announced that it is expanding its horizons, and is now connected to Health Information Exchange Texas (HIETexas).

CMS Selects Vendor to Modernize Critical Identity Infrastructure

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week announced it had selected San Francisco-based vendor Okta to enhance the security of its information systems.

Mayo Clinic, ASU Partner for Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation

The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have announced a partnership centered on transforming medical education and healthcare in the U.S. through a variety of innovation efforts.

CMS Hospital Compare Website Updated with VA Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the inclusion of Veterans Administration (VA) hospital performance data as part of the federal agency’s Hospital Compare website.

CMS Awards Funding to Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) aimed at local efforts to deliver better care at lower cost.