Iowa DHS: Medicaid records sent to wrong clinic

AP reports:

Iowa officials say personal information from more than 800 Medicaid clients was accidentally mailed to the wrong health clinic.

Iowa Medicaid Enterprise, a division of the state Department of Human Services, says Friday the error occurred during the mailing process. Patient listings were mailed in February.

The listings include the patient’s name, phone numbers, state identification and type of enrolled program.

Iowa Medicaid Director Jennifer Vermeer says the listings were destroyed, and there’s a low probability the information was compromised.

Read more on Muscatine Journal.

Update: Iowa Medicaid Enterprise issued the following statement, dated april 25:

(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) is notifying 862 Medicaid clients that patient listings were mailed in error to a different health clinic than the one providing their services.

The issue was limited to patient listings from nine providers of Medicaid managed care programs. These listings included names, phone numbers, state IDs, and the types of program the individual is enrolled in. This is a very small number of the 680,000 Iowans projected to receive Medicaid in SFY2014.

IME was notified by Covenant Clinic that a Medicaid patient listing was delivered in error on February 28, 2014. Covenant Clinic is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covered-provider, and securely destroyed the patient listing.

“Because this provider understands how to safeguard protected health information, there is a low probability that the patient listings were compromised in any way,” said Iowa Medicaid Director Jennifer Vermeer. “We have taken steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

A Department of Human Services investigation found that the error occurred during the mailing process, which includes printing, stuffing, barcoding, sorting and delivery. As of May 1, 2014, IME will no longer mail patient listings to providers. Instead, providers will be required to download the listings from a secure web portal.
If clients who received a notice have questions, they can contact the Iowa Medicaid Member Services Call Center at 1-800-338-8366 or 515-256-4606.

For more information

Amy Lorentzen McCoy
[email protected]

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