MDwise acts to protect the health information of 2,700 of its members

1/11/2012
 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – January 1, 2012
MDwise, Indiana’s only not-for-profit managed health care organization serving Hoosiers covered by the Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan and Care Select health programs, today began alerting 2,700 of its members about a possible health record disclosure and the steps that MDwise is taking to protect those members’ information.
 
During an upgrade of MDwise’s customer record computer system last February, a portion of the health records of approximately 2,700 members – containing the member’s name, address, Medicaid number, and their doctor’s name and address – was inadvertently made available to a possible Internet search. MDwise became aware of the problem on November 9, 2011 and immediately corrected the error.
 
Due to a previously undetected error in the system set up, MDwise learned that a file containing the above information could be found on the Internet if someone searched for a specific name.  When the error was discovered, MDwise immediately corrected the error making the file unavailable to the Internet, and worked with the Internet search engine company which had indexed the file to ensure the indexing had been removed. 
 
MDwise is providing written notice of the incident to each of the affected members to apprise them of the error.  While the information in the file did not include financial or social security information and the risk of identity theft is very low, as simply a precautionary measure, MDwise is suggesting that the affected members place a free fraud alert on their credit records by calling any of the three credit reporting agencies. 
 
In addition, MDwise will be monitoring medical claims activity of affected members for the next 12 months to be sure that none of the members’ information has been misused.  MDwise is implementing additional safeguards to be sure this type of error does not happen again.
 
“Our member’s security and privacy are of the highest importance to us. We apologize for the error, and we are working diligently to protect those members affected and to see that this type of situation does not occur again,” said Patricia A. Hebenstreit, HIPAA Privacy Officer for MDwise.


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About MDwise

MDwise is an Indiana-licensed nonprofit health maintenance organization offering health care benefits to 300,000 Medicaid members. Since 1994 MDwise has provided access to compassionate, high-quality, coordinated health care and education to Medicaid members in communities throughout Indiana.
 
MDwise is a provider-owned health plan with a large network of doctors, specialists and hospitals located throughout the state. By meeting the basic requirements of the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA’s) rigorous standards for consumer protection and quality improvement, MDwise was awarded NCQA’s accreditation status of Accredited for service and clinical quality. Ninety-seven percent of MDwise members surveyed would recommend MDwise to their family and friends. For more information, visit MDwise.org.


HHW-HIPM0135 (1/12)