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May 15, 2024

Reps. Schiff, Steel, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Stop Health Care Cyber Attacks

Washington, D.C.— Today, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.),  Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), and David Trone (D-Md.) introduced the Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act. The bipartisan, bicameral bill will address the recent spike in cybersecurity attacks against American health care systems by requiring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General to perform consistent evaluations of the Department’s cybersecurity systems and report its findings to Congress. The Senate companion bill is led by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Angus King (I-Maine).

"Cyberattacks against U.S. health care systems are on the rise. These attacks can cripple hospitals and doctors' offices, impacting patients' access to care and imposing a significant financial burden on health care providers,” said Rep. Schiff. “Our Strengthening Cyber Security in Health Care Act mandates a crucial review and supports the enhancement of security measures by HHS to help ensure our health care system is protected from bad cyber actors. I'm grateful for the bipartisan support of my colleagues in taking a stand to protect our health care systems and the patients they serve.” 

“American patients deserve to know their sensitive health data is protected from bad actors, whether they are domestic fraudsters or foreign adversaries,” said Rep. Steel. “The alarming increase in cyber-attacks on American health systems requires immediate attention, and I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining me in this effort to ensure American patients get the care they need without having their data compromised.”

“As a physician in Congress, I understand how critical it is to protect U.S. healthcare systems and patient information from malevolent actors,” said Rep. Miller-Meeks. Cybersecurity attacks are exponentially increasing, and hackers are growing more sophisticated every day. Our bipartisan bill will enhance accountability of the cybersecurity systems at the Department of Health and Human Services and help safeguard millions of Americans’ personal health information.”

“Malicious actors around the globe are increasingly putting Americans’ sensitive health information at risk,” said Rep. Ryan. "We must act now to protect patients and communities from the threat of cyberattacks. The Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act is a critical step forward that will strengthen the federal government’s ability to keep our personal health data safe from hackers.”

"As the federal agency responsible for the privacy of Americans’ healthcare data, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must be equipped with the most up-to-date cybersecurity protocols — particularly in light of increasing cyberattacks on the healthcare sector," said Rep. Spanberger. "As the threats to this sector grow increasingly complex, the stakes for patient care and safety are incredibly high. I'm proud to help lead this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to strengthen HHS's response to cybersecurity attacks."

“Recent attacks on health care systems have made it clear that strengthening our cybersecurity must be a top priority to safeguard personal health information and protect access to care,” said Rep. Pappas. “This bipartisan legislation will bolster cybersecurity and support needed improvements to protect health care systems, including patient data. Tackling cyberattacks is a bipartisan issue, and I will continue working with my colleagues across the aisle to pass this critical bill and strengthen our health care systems against future attacks.”

“In recent years, several of Maine’s major healthcare providers have been the victims of cyberattacks,” said Senator King. “This threat to America’s critical infrastructure is real, and could literally mean the difference between life and death – we must take proactive steps to enhance the cybersecurity of our healthcare and public health sectors. The bipartisan Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act would help ensure that health institutions have the resources to keep patient data safe. As the number of threats continues to grow, consistent evaluations will prove to be a lifeline to the medical community treating our family and friends.”

The full text of the bill is available here.