Computer glitch at hospital sends 6,200 accounts to collections

Sue Sterling reports:

Warrensburg – About 6,200 accounts at Western Missouri Medical Center were turned over to a collection agency due to a glitch in the computer changeover, interim President/CEO Darinda Reberry said. Reberry said the glitch occurred among patients who had several accounts that the new computer system did not link. She said patients may have made payments that were credited to one account. That account may have had a credit, but the computer did not transfer any of the payment to other accounts, which then became delinquent. Board President Larry Purcell said when the accounts reached the 120-day overdue mark, the computer automatically sent them to the collection agency, which then sent out notices to the account holders.

Read more on The Daily Star-Journal.

And if you’re wondering if this is a HIPAA breach, keep in mind that the collection agency likely has a BAA with the medical center and would therefore be obligated to keep the information securely. What the reporting doesn’t indicate, however, was whether the medical center requested – and ensured – that the collection agency deleted all information on the erroneous accounts. Those data should not remain in their system, and I hope the medical center has followed up on that, lest the collection agency ever be breached.

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