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Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Message sent and received: First HIPAA settlement involving a business associate – a cautionary tale

obamacare_repealThe math is eye-opening — a $650,000 settlement for breach affecting 412 people. In the first HIPAA settlement involving a “business associate,” HHS’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has sent a strong message to all business associates about the importance of complying with HIPAA’s privacy and security rules.

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS), a non-profit organization that provides management and information technology services to skilled nursing facilities, is a business associate under HIPAA because performed certain services using protected health information (PHI) on behalf of a HIPAA “covered entity” (a description of covered entities is here and a description of business associates is here). In 2014 a smartphone provided by CHCS to an employee was stolen. The smartphone had PHI of 412 patients and was neither encrypted nor password-protected. Read more…

Significant data breach hits Partners HealthCare

health_passwordPartners HealthCare, a non-profit health care organization which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, and Newton-Wellesley Hospital, released a statement that it suffered a major data breach after a group of employees received phishing emails on November 25, 2014. Phishing scams usually strike in the form of fraudulent email messages that direct people to a website infected with malware in an attempt to obtain private information such as passwords and credit card numbers. The hackers gained unauthorized access to the email accounts of employees within the Partners HealthCare network. Read more…

Anthem data breach latest scare for health insurers

data-securityThe nation’s second largest health insurer, Anthem (which includes several major Blue Cross and Blue Shields brands), has reported a major data breach. Last Wednesday, security personnel discovered a hack in which cyber thieves accessed the names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and member IDs of up to 80 million current and former policy holders. Anthem’s President and CEO, Joseph R. Swedish, in a letter to its current and former members said that through its initial analysis of the breach “there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.” Nevertheless, the impact of this breach is significant. Read more…

Study reveals Obamacare users no sicker than those on Commercial Group Products

January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

calc_moneyNewly published data reviewed by Reuters reveals that contrary to popular belief, Obamacare enrollees do not cost U.S. health insurers more than those with employer-sponsored insurance. Prior to the ACA’s launch, some insurers feared that individuals who purchased plans through Obamacare would be sicker than those covered by employer-sponsored group plans, be more likely to seek out costly specialists and to try to get the “most for their premium dollars.”

The analysis included thousands of 18-64 year olds with coverage under the exchanges who use ZocDoc, the free, online appointment-booking tool that’s now accessed by millions of members across the country. First year data showed that newly-insured members were scheduling PCP, women’s health and preventive care visits at a much higher percentage than commercially-covered members. Prior to Obamacare, preventive visits were likely a low-priority for the uninsured, but now that these services are free under the new law, more enrollees are taking advantage of their ability to access care. Read more…