United States: Five Steps Health Care Providers Should Take As DOJ Expands Cybersecurity Oversight


G. Thomas Sullivan and Christopher P. Couch

Modern Healthcare recently reported that 2021 produced the largest number of health care data breaches since regulators began keeping records. In this environment, an announcement was issued by the DOJ which could have a profound impact on hospitals and other health care providers, suppliers, physician groups and vendors.

On Oct. 6, the DOJ announced its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative. The Civil Division's Commercial Litigation Branch of the Fraud Section will lead the initiative. The Civil Division is the largest litigating division in the DOJ with more than a thousand lawyers, and its Fraud Section leads the DOJ's enforcement of the False Claims Act.

The health care industry should take note of this as it faces increased threats of ransomware attacks and other security incidents. In addition to the operational disruptions, DOJ settlement agreements and sanctions, and breach response and...

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