Insurer Has E-Security Problem

March 15, 2011
49 Views

For all of the enthusiasm of President Obama’s digital initiatives within the scope of healthcare reform, the specter of securing data in healthcare related databases is always a required consideration. It’s an upfront cost for organizations ready to implement the transition to the electronic health record after years of deliberate planning. When breaches in security involve an insurance provider, things can get complicated very quickly.

For all of the enthusiasm of President Obama’s digital initiatives within the scope of healthcare reform, the specter of securing data in healthcare related databases is always a required consideration. It’s an upfront cost for organizations ready to implement the transition to the electronic health record after years of deliberate planning. When breaches in security involve an insurance provider, things can get complicated very quickly. One such company based in California has apparently lost sensitive employee and consumer information on “some of its hard drives”. In a prepared release, the company wouldn’t say if the hardware was actually stolen, or if this were a software and data breach.

Turns out this isn’t the first time the insurer has had a lapse in security. Just two months ago, the company agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a similar case with the Vermont attorney general’s office involving the loss of a portable drive containing sensitive patient information. In return for the anticipated concern of its customers, the company said that it will provide two years of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance as a consolation. Well, that’s good…I guess.

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