Laptops Compromise Health Data

An unencrypted laptop stolen from an employee of a health services organization, which does work for the Veterans Affairs Department, resulted in a breach of personal information of up to 616 veterans. In another breach this week, reported by New Mexico’s Health and Human Services Department, the personal information of 9,600 Medicaid Salud! Plan and Fee-for-Service members may have been compromised.

In an article on the Government Health IT website, Mary Mosquera says these two incidents served as a stark reminder “that the wayward laptop – and not the hacked database – might be the more insidious information security threat to government healthcare organizations and their beneficiaries.”

Veterans Affairs is responding to the breach by increasing its security safeguards. VA will conduct an onsite audit and assessment of the contractor’s facility and review compliance with IT security, information physical security, privacy and records management requirements. It will also verify compliance with security requirements in contracts requiring vendors to store the personal information of veterans and employees.

In the breach involving members of Medicaid Salud!, the various health plan partners that administer the Salud! plan are working together to develop appropriate security measures.

To read the article, click here:
http://www.govhealthit.com/newsitem.aspx?nid=73745