Saturday, October 28, 2006

Living the "Groudhog Day"

One of our readers asked for our opinion in response to an article that was written by the Associated Press, “Operator of 12 hospitals informs of lost data” on October 24, 2006.

Let me give you a little background first. The Sisters of St. Francis Health Service, which operates 12 hospitals within Indiana and Illinois or their medical billing contractor lost control of several computer discs, IN JULY 2006. These discs contained Social Security numbers and other personal information of their 260,000 patients.

The article says, “However, officials said they do not believe any of the 260,000 patients’ information was improperly accessed.” Does that mean it will never be improperly used? If I was one of the victims (oops) “patients’” I would be furious!

Questions that Potential Victims should Ask:

1. How can this affect me?
2. What should I or what could I do to sleep well at night?
3. Why The Sisters of St. Francis Health Service waited four months to notify the VICTIMS of their criminal behavior that this data was “misplaced?”
4. Why they feel so confident that this data has not been improperly accessed and will not be accessed in the future?
5. Who is the “medical billing contractor” that they blame on losing the data?
6. Why do they suggest that the “patient” spend their valuable time requesting credit reports when the hospital system lost the data?

If I were one the “patients” I would have demanded the contractor or the hospital to pay for my credit report being checked. Also, I would demand the hospital system purchase a monitoring service to cover me and my family against identity theft for at least one year.

Have you ever watched the movie “Groundhog Day?”

WHERE DOES IT END? WE MUST DO SOMETHING?

What do you think needs to happen for this level of irresponsibility to come to an end?

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2 Comments:

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This opens up the potential for all of these patients to have not only financial identity theft happen to them but also medical identity theft...where someone obtains medical services in another's name...and the other person gets the bill. Being a former resident of Indiana AND Illinois I am familiar with the St. Francis system... I used to work for one of their affiliates, even. This is so wrong!

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Lois Hale said...

Consumers are still in the dark about their privacy rights. They have the rights and power to...
1) blow the whistle on businesses not compliant to federal/state security regulations,
2) not patronize privacy/security offenders who are disrespectful of safekeeping any personal information that their business keeps on customers and employees, and
3) scare or drive violators out of business by class action lawsuits.

 

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