Members of Congress want answers fromTRICARE Management on SAIC breach

Five members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to TRICARE Management Authority concerning the recent SAIC breach that affected over 4.9 million members of the military and their dependents.

In a series of questions, the legislators ask for details as to TRICARE’s policies and, in particular, any policies or contracts it had for SAIC. Noting that SAIC had experienced at least six prior breaches, they also ask what steps TMA took since these breaches and what steps it will take to prevent future incidents.

Actually, this is a killer letter that I encourage you to read in its entirety. Kudos to Reps. Markey, Barton, DeGette, Stearns, and Andrews for asking the right questions – including why TMA continued and continues to deal with SAIC in light of its track record.

I can’t wait to see the answers, which they’ve requested be provided by February 22.

In a press release today, Deborah Peel, M.D., of Patient Privacy Rights, said:

The fact that SAIC has continued to get billions in funds from the federal government despite repeated breaches of sensitive health information shows also that the federal process of awarding, monitoring and auditing, and assuring performance of billion-dollar contracts needs investigation.

Providers, healthcare organizations, and technology companies that do not use state-of-the-art data security for health information should not be allowed towork in the healthcare field. If you are unwilling to protect patient data, you don’t belong in healthcare.

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