TX: Social Security Numbers Exposed On Hospital Bills

Lauren Grover reports in the Tyler Morning Telegraph: Some 2,000 medical bills were mailed around East Texas last week with patients’ Social Security numbers visible on the envelope after a technical glitch skewed billing at the collection agency used by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. Chief Operating Officer Rob Marshall...

Hackers Breach System At UMass

Lesley Tanner of CBS reports: Hackers breached the computer system used by UMass Amherst’s Health Services, potentially gaining access to thousands of medical records. More than half of the student population at UMass Amherst are patients on record at the University Health Services. Though many of the most personal medical records are kept...

Snowe's genetic privacy bill wins support

The Portland Press Herald reports: Senate Democrats and Republicans struck a deal on Tuesday to consider landmark legislation protecting genetic privacy. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Republican, would prevent health insurance companies and employers from discriminating against those who could be predisposed to a disease or illness based on a genetic...

Doctors behaving badly harm all of our health

Dr. Edward V. Craig comments on msnbc.com: His words rushed back to me recently as I read on the Internet of two headline-grabbing instances where doctors appeared to have deeply violated patient trust. Last week, a Philippine hospital recommended possible dismissal of a group of surgeons and a nurse whose rowdy, unprofessional behavior...

Someone's put their foot in it at Boots

Martin Waller of Times Online writes: Boots is the latest company to be embarrassed by the loss of confidential information after a drug addict stole a back-up tape with details of customers to whom the company had sold dental insurance. Boots is blaming Medisure, the insurer, which is blaming the security firm that was...

Vendors, stakeholders aim to dispel privacy myths about EHRs

Diana Manos writes in Healthcare IT News: Healthcare IT vendors and other stakeholders at a recent Capitol Hill briefing sought to dispel what they called “privacy myths” concerning electronic health records. “People are scaring lawmakers about data flying around the Internet,” said Justin Barnes, a board member of the Confidentiality Coalition and vice president...

Contractor or vendor woes (commentary)

A few recent breaches involving health information have gotten me thinking more about contractor or third party data losses. Is our reaction to such incidents the same as it would be if the hospital, insurance company, or other covered entities directly experienced the breach or loss themselves? Is there some psychological reaction whereby the...

From DNA of Family, a Tool to Make Arrests

The Washington Post continues in its focus on DNA and the legal system. Following up on yesterday’s story, Ellen Nakashima reports: He was a church-going father of two, and for more than 30 years Dennis Rader eluded police in the Wichita area, killing 10 people and signing taunting letters with a self-styled monogram: BTK,...

UK: Court sent me people's secret files

George Hamilton reports in the Oxford Mail: Oxford County Court has tightened its security procedures after a member of staff mistakenly sent sensitive medical information and National Insurance numbers to a woman trying to settle her parking fines. Emma Kelly said she was worried identity fraudsters could have capitalised on the error, which saw...