Blue Cross Blue Shield in Tenn. To Pay $1.5M To Settle HIPAA Breach
Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Tennessee will pay $1.5 million to the federal government to settle a HIPAA breach. Insurer and hospital business practices also make news in Georgia and Maine.
Modern Healthcare: Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of Tenn. To Pay $1.5 Million In HIPAA Settlement
In the first enforcement action stemming from the HITECH Act breach notification rule, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee has agreed to pay federal regulators $1.5 million and enter into a corrective action plan after 57 hard drives were stolen from the insurer. Blue Cross told government authorities that the computer drives contained unencrypted private health information for more than 1 million people, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, diagnosis codes and health plan ID numbers, according to an announcement by HHS' Office for Civil Rights (Carlson, 3/13).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Maine Hospital Price Lists: Everything's Better Up North
Around ten years ago or so, Maine law was amended to require hospitals to provide the prices of common procedures. But paper lists are something of a "horse and buggy" version of price transparency, and about four years ago, Maine established an online database — run by the Maine Health Data Organization and funded by the hospitals and the health insurers. ... The limits of the transparency: We can tell you what, say, knee surgery costs but there are all kinds of associated costs that we may or may not be able to tell you (Goldberg, 3/13).
Georgia Health News: Kaiser Wins Regional Satisfaction Ranking
Kaiser Permanente ranked first in customer satisfaction in the three-state region that includes Georgia, according to a 2012 study by J.D. Power and Associates released Tuesday. The nonprofit health plan, with 240,000 members in the state, won the top honor in the region for the third straight year, earning 770 points on a 1,000-point scale. That was 66 points higher than the average for the South Atlantic region, which also includes North Carolina and South Carolina (Miller, 3/14).