Healthcare Business News

Montana notifying 1.3 million of possible records hacking

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: June 28, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Montana officials said last week that they are notifying 1.3 million people that their personal information could have been accessed by hackers who broke into a state health department computer server.

The letters are going to individuals whose information and records were on the server. There is no evidence so far that any information was stolen, officials said.

Malware was discovered on the health agency's server May 22 after information technology employees noted suspicious server activity this month, Montana Chief Information Officer Ron Baldwin said. The server contains names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers and medical records related to health assessments, diagnoses, treatment, prescriptions and insurance.

Only about 1 million people live in Montana. The notifications are going to residents, people who no longer live in Montana, and the estates of those who have died. —Associated Press

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Palliative-care medical home starting in Western states

Increasing the role of palliative care within the framework of acute-care treatment is the goal behind a new program being launched by regional insurer Cambia Health Solutions, company leaders said last week.

The new initiative is set to begin July 1 and will be offered to the more than 2 million members covered within the six health plans the company operates across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.

As part of the program, Cambia will begin paying for such services as counseling for advance-care planning, care coordination and medical team conferences among health providers caring for seriously ill patients. In addition, the insurer will provide reimbursement for home health aides and in-home counseling, and provide training to providers on developing their ability to better engage patients and their families on discussing a plan for end-of-life care.

“We are embarking on designing a serious illness or palliative-care medical home pilot where we can support providers and members in delivering the care that the members need in their homes or in an outpatient setting,” said Torrie Fields, program director for serious illness and palliative care at Cambia. The goal is to financially support providers to begin having conversations with patients earlier in the illness process about their quality-of-life plans, Fields said. —Steven Ross Johnson

Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHsjohnson

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