KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Stolen Computers Could Jeopardize Personal Records Of 1.2 Million Health Plan Members

American Medical News: "AvMed Health, a Florida-based health plan, said data about nearly 1.2 million members and former members were breached when two laptops were stolen in December 2009 from an AvMed office in Gainesville, Fla. The insurer notified 360,000 customers of the breach in February. But AvMed said on June 3 that further investigation found that an additional 860,000 people had been affected. Information included names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and health information. ... In another case, officials at the University of Louisville in Kentucky said on June 2 that it was notifying 708 dialysis patients of a breach. They discovered that patient names, Social Security numbers and medical information had been displayed on an unsecured website for about 19 months" (Dolan, 6/22).

The West Virginia Record: "A medical practice and its owner are suing Alpha Technologies for negligence after they [claim] it unlawfully concealed and withheld backups from the computer system. Thomas Maddox, an engineer or technician employed by Alpha, was also named as a defendant in the suit. Harvey Family Medicine and its owner, Dr. Hyla Harvey, contacted the defendants about establishing and developing their medical practice and the utilization of the eClinicalWorks electronic medical records system, according to a complaint filed May 12 in Putnam Circuit Court. The plaintiffs claim they provided their eClinicalWorks license and all other requested information to Alpha so it could provide compatible hardware and services to ensure the efficient and reliable operation, monitoring and maintenance of the practice's network, computer and electronic medical records system" (Asbury, 6/22). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.