7 privacy breaches reported in Vt. exchange


MONTPELIER -- The Shumlin administration notified lawmakers this week of seven privacy lapses related to the Vermont Health Connect insurance exchange.

In two cases invoices were sent to the wrong people. Scanned checks also were posted to the wrong accounts, and a health insurance card was mailed to the wrong address.

The errors occurred between Dec. 16 and Jan. 24 and were the result of mistakes by Health Connect staff, the Burlington Free Press reported. They follow two similar lapses in the fall.

"Anytime anyone gets to see another person’s information, it is very serious," said House Health Care Committee Chairman Michael Fisher, D-Lincoln, on Wednesday.

He said he thinks the administration is looking at it seriously and expected his committee would have questions for the Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson during his weekly update on Friday.

Larson sent a memorandum to legislative leaders on Tuesday about the breaches, which he said were reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service. Those affected have been notified, he said.

Based on our analysis, these incidents did not include any breach of security or reveal any technology issues that require mitigation," he said in the memo.

Larson was criticized in the fall after failing to provide information about the first privacy breach when asked about it by a legislator.

Rep. Doug Gage, R-Rutland, a member of the House Health Care Committee, said he’s frustrated by the lapses.

"There isn’t any site secure 100 percent of the time but this site certainly has its troubles," he said.


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