Microsoft is lead developer on military PHR project

Peter Buxbaum reports: Microsoft Corp. is the lead developer in a partnership with the Military Health System and Google Inc. to develop a personal health record system for military health care beneficiaries, an MHS spokesman said. An initial version of the system is scheduled to be unveiled in Dec. 2008, according to an MHS...

Does personalized genomics pit privacy against ethics?

John Timmer writes: Today’s issue of Nature contains the latest milestone on the road to personal genomics, as researchers are reporting the complete sequencing of the genomes of two more people, one Asian, one Yoruban. The sequencing was done relatively quickly and cheaply using a technique that didn’t even exist when Bill Clinton presided...

Baylor Health Care says laptop with patient data stolen

Jason Roberson reports: A laptop computer containing limited health information on 100,000 patients was stolen from an employee’s car in September, Baylor Health Care System Inc. said Monday. A letter is being sent to the patients, including 7,400 patients whose Social Security numbers were stored on the computer. Baylor is offering a $1,000...

Not-guilty plea in celebrity medical snooping case

A former UCLA Medical Center employee has pleaded not guilty to charges that she sold information from Farrah Fawcett’s medical records to a celebrity gossip tabloid. U.S. attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek says Lawanda Jackson entered the plea at her arraignment Monday in U.S. District Court. Source – Associated Press

Some ID-theft schemes target Canada's health-care system

Pauline Tam reports: Criminals are exploiting lax security in government databases to assume false identities and take advantage of Canada’s health-care system, warns a leading expert in identity fraud. But such scams go largely unprosecuted because there is no concerted effort by government agencies to go after bogus health-care claimants, says former Edmonton police...

UK: Medical records found dumped near canal in Barrowford

Simone Yates reports: AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after hundreds of personal medical documents were found dumped beside a canal between Barrowford and Foulridge. The confidential documents featured information about patients from across East Lancashire including names, addresses and whether they had HIV, syphillis or had suffered from a heart attack. Pendle Denture Centre,...

Portland VA hospital mistakenly posts vets' personal data online

  Michael Milstein reports: Personal information, including some Social Security numbers, of about 1,600 patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland was inadvertently posted on a public Web site, Portland VA officials said Saturday. The breach also involved patient information from other VA hospitals around the country, but Portland VA spokesman Mike...

Inspector general knocks HIPAA security oversight

John Moore reports: A review by the Department of Health and Human Service has found the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service wanting when it comes to oversight of health information security. HHS’ Office of the Inspector General issued a report Oct. 27 that finds CMS has fallen short of its charter to enforce...

20 Hospital Workers Accused Of Violating Collier's Privacy Fired

Twenty hospital workers — nurses, admissions workers and patient relations staff — lost their jobs this week, accused of breaking federal privacy rules by accessing the medical records of the Jaguars’ Richard Collier. Two weeks after Collier — who was shot 14 times — was well enough to be discharged from Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center,...

Professors Call For Regulation Of Electronic Health Records

Cost and security concerns about bringing health care record keeping into the 21st century through electronic health records (EHR)have led to a call for an effective regulatory and oversight system from a pair of Case Western Reserve University professors. “Electronic information can be illicitly accessed from anywhere and transmitted across the globe quickly, cheaply,...