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Senator Hassan and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect U.S. Health Care Systems From Hackers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Angus King (I-ME), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) in introducing the Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act, which requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General to perform consistent evaluations of the Department’s cybersecurity systems and report its findings to Congress.

There has been a significant increase in cybersecurity attacks against health care systems across the country, including against HHS, according to recent reporting. As the agency tasked with keeping Americans’ personal health information safe, HHS must be equipped to combat the latest hacking crimes.

“As cyberattacks against our health care systems grow more frequent and sophisticated, it is crucial that we boost our defenses and ensure that our health care system is ready to respond,” said Senator Hassan. “When doctors’ offices or hospitals face cyberattacks, they sometimes have to shut down entirely while responding – putting lives at risk. This bipartisan bill would ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services stays vigilant against cyberattacks.”

“Since the pandemic, we have seen a rise in the number of cyberattacks against our healthcare systems. I am proud to introduce the bipartisan Strengthening Cybersecurity in Health Care Act. This legislation aims to reassure the American people by better safeguarding their sensitive information, ensuring peace of mind during these ever changing times,” said Senator Rubio.

This bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity, particularly in health care. In November 2023, Senator Hassan helped launch a bipartisan working group to strengthen cybersecurity in the health care and public health sectors. Senator Hassan worked to pass into law her measure to create a Cybersecurity Coordinator in every state to help federal, state, and local governments, as well as schools, hospitals, and other entities, coordinate and better protect their systems against cyberattacks. Senator Hassan also helped secure a measure in the bipartisan infrastructure law to create and fund a state and local cybersecurity grant program. Additionally, Senator Hassan highlighted the cybersecurity needs of rural and smaller health care providers in New Hampshire during a Senate hearing in March 2023 and discussed how the federal government can better provide cybersecurity resources to smaller health care and education entities during a Senate hearing in May 2022.