Monday, June 20, 2005

Kaiser fined $200,000

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan has been fined $200,000 by the California Department of Managed Health Care for unauthorized online disclosure of patient health information.
The agency's investigation found that Kaiser created a Web portal used for testing by its IT staff. The site contained confidential patient information, including names, addresses, phone numbers and lab results, and was set up and available for public viewing in 1999 "without the prior consent of those affected."
Back in January, former Kaiser employee, Elisa D. Cooper discovered the patient information on Kaiser's public website. She brought its existence to the attention of Kaiser but when they failed to do anything about the breach, she linked to the information on her blog. Cooper's actions were responsible for getting the media and the DMHC involved but has also caused her to be embroiled in legal wranglings with Kaiser.

I posted this account last month which includes an email I received from Elisa discussing some of the problems she has had with the media regarding her story. A lively discussion including participation from Alisa followed in the comments section of the May 20th post. (The comments counter reads "0", however the comments are still there).


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