WellPoint to pay $1.7 million HIPAA penaltyNews added by Benefits Pro on July 12, 2013

Benefits Pro

Joined: September 07, 2011

My Company

By Kathryn Mayer

WellPoint has agreed to pay the government $1.7 million to settle potential violations of HIPAA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.

An HHS investigation found that the health insurance giant “impermissibly disclosed” electronic protected health information of 612,402 individuals between Oct. 23, 2009 and March 7, 2010. That information included names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, telephone numbers and health information.

The health agency said that WellPoint may have violated HIPAA — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 — after the Indianapolis-based insurer reported the breach to HHS.

HHS said the case “sends an important message to HIPAA-covered entities to take caution when implementing changes to their information systems, especially when those changes involve updates to Web-based applications or portals that are used to provide access to consumers’ health data using the Internet.”

Beginning Sept. 23, 2013, liability for many of HIPAA’s requirements will extend directly to business associates that receive or store protected health information, such as contractors and subcontractors.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of ProducersWEB.
Reprinting or reposting this article without prior consent of Producersweb.com is strictly prohibited.
If you have questions, please visit our terms and conditions
Post Press Release