Massachusetts Hospital Pays $750k for Data Breach | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Massachusetts Hospital Pays $750k for Data Breach

May 25, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

South Shore Hospital, a Weymouth, Mass.-based not-for-profit hospital, reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office regarding the loss of back-up computer files.  The publicized file loss occurred two years ago in 2010, and as a result, South Shore Hospital will pay a $750,000 monetary settlement. 

The resolution comes at the conclusion of a two-year review by the Attorney General’s Office.  Along with the money, the terms of the agreement specify data-security protocols that South Shore Hospital must adopt, the vast majority of which the hospital already has implemented.  Because of the investments the hospital already has made in technology and data-handling upgrades, the amount the hospital owes were reduced by $275,000. The balance of the penalty consists of a $250,000 regulatory enforcement payment and a $225,000 contribution to a data-security education fund.
Back in July 19, 2010, South Shore Hospital reported that back-up computer files containing personal, health and financial information may have been lost by a professional data management company.  The hospital had engaged the company to destroy the files, which were stored on computer tapes that were in a format no longer used.  The hospital says the evidence indicated that the back-up computer files were most likely disposed of in a secure commercial landfill and were therefore unrecoverable. 

 “The state’s review has been comprehensive and thorough. We appreciate that the Attorney General has recognized the steps we’ve taken to enhance our data-security systems and hope to be able to serve as a source of information about best practices for other health care providers,” Richard H. Aubut, South Shore Hospital president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.


Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).