Spanberger Helps Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Stop Healthcare Cyberattacks

The “Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act” Would Require HHS to Consistently Evaluate Cybersecurity Systems & Report Findings to Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger helped introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to address the recent spike in cybersecurity attacks against American healthcare systems.

Cyberattacks on our healthcare system — like that against Change Healthcare, which serves more than 152 million Americans, earlier this year — are growing more frequent and complex. A recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report found that reports of large breaches nearly doubled and reports of large breaches involving ransomware increased by more than 275 percent from 2018 to 2022. These attacks have detrimental impacts on patient care — including extended delays and disruptions, issues with insurance coverage, and an inability to receive authorizations for medical services and prescriptions.

The Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act would require the HHS Inspector General to perform consistent evaluations to determine how current systems could be compromised to expose patient data or impact patient safety. Additionally, the legislation requires HHS to submit its findings to Congress every two years.

“As the agency responsible for the privacy of Americans’ healthcare data, it is critical that the Department of Health and Human Services is equipped with the most-up-to-date mitigation and response strategies — particularly in light of increasing cybersecurity attacks on the healthcare sector,” said Spanberger. “The stakes for patient care and safety are incredibly high — and I’m proud to back this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to create requirements to strengthen HHS’s response to cybersecurity attacks.”

Along with Spanberger, the Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act is led in the U.S. House by U.S. Representatives Michelle Steel (R-CA-45), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), Pat Ryan (D-NY-18), and David Trone (D-MD-06). Companion legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Angus King (I-ME).

Click here to read the full bill text.


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