October 2022 Healthcare Breach Report

Each month, we review healthcare breaches posted on the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) online breach portal to determine the leading causes and how the incidents could have been prevented. The OCR publicly posts healthcare breaches that affected 500 or more individuals to ensure that all affected patients know their information could have been potentially compromised.

At least 6,242,589 records containing patients’ protected health information (PHI)  were breached in October 2022. Unauthorized disclosures resulted in the most significant number of breaches in October 2022, with more than 4,145,396 records.

In October 2022, there were 71 large-scale breaches reported, 55 of which affected healthcare providers. These incidents compromised the PHI of 4,966,192 individuals, representing 79.6% of patients affected by the October incidents. 

Business associates reported six additional incidents that affected 565,536 patients, representing 9.1% of patients affected. 

Ten health plans also reported incidents affecting 710,861 patients, representing 11.3% of affected patients. 

Hacking incidents were responsible for 47 breaches reported in October 2022. There were 17 breaches caused by unauthorized access or disclosure of PHI, four incidents involving theft, two resulting from loss of PHI, and one from improper disposal of PHI.

October 2022 Healthcare Breaches and Hacking

Cybercriminals are still busy as hacking continued its streak at the top of the list of causes of healthcare breaches in October 2022. The 47 hacking incidents reported in October affected the PHI of 2,025,704 patients. These 53 incidents represented 32.4% of all reported records breached during the month.

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