Coburn: Computerized Patient Records Will Bring on Hackers

Aliya Sternstein | NextGov | November 10, 2011

At Wednesday's hearing, Coburn, a practicing obstetrician, referenced the exploits of Chinese cyber attackers to illustrate the vulnerability of digital versus paper information. "There are always going to be people who will go around" computer security to obtain sensitive information, he said. "Just ask our Defense Department with China right now. Ask our private companies with China right now -- the hacking that's going on. The very sophisticated people, they've got to get into my office to get it, when it's on a piece of paper."

Coburn then cautioned, "Maybe we ought to rethink some of what we're doing, both in terms of privacy but also in terms of cost."

All but one of the several pending Senate bills that would mandate data breach notifications exclude health information. Committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sponsor of the lone exception, S.1535, elicited support for his medical provision from Obama administration officials at the hearing...