In January, when Premier Healthcare discovered a laptop holding protected health information had been stolen, the situation looked bleak for the large group practice in Bloomington, Ind.

Information on the laptop was not encrypted, and about 206,000 patients needed to be notified; nearly 1,800 of those patients would have had their Social Security numbers or financial information at risk. That would have resulted in the practice having to offer identity protection services, a costly charge on top of other breach-related expenses.

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