WJTV News Channel 12 - Acting Medicaid Director comments on releasing wrong information

Acting Medicaid Director comments on releasing wrong information

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Department of Health and Human Services Acting Medicaid Director, Sandy Terrell, released information today after the department incorrectly mailed 48,752 Medicaid cards to the wrong addresses.

Terrell says due to new eligibility rules and requirements under the Affordable Care Act, effective January 1st, 70, 253 children were switched from NC Health Choice to Medicaid. Because of the switch, the NC Department of Health and Human Services had to issue new Medicaid cards to the children. Terrell says that 48,752 were mailed to the wrong recipients.

DHHS says they mailed the Medicaid cards to the wrong people on Monday, December 30, 2013. The cards show the child's name, Medicaid ID number, date of birth and primary care physician. On New Year's Eve, staff with the Medicaid Division and NCFAST received first reports that people received the incorrect Medicaid cards.

DHHS says that staff with the Medicaid Division then sent an automated message to all county departments of social services letting them know that some cards had been issued with the wrong information. DHHS leadership was informed of the mishap on Thursday, January 2nd and requested an analysis to determine the extent of the problem and it's cause.

After analysis of the issue, Medicaid staff determined that potentially 48,752 cards were incorrect. This number was confirmed and validated Friday, January 3rd. Governor Pat McCrory was first informed Thursday and was given updates on Friday, according to DHHS.

DHHS staff is working this weekend to conduct a full-scale review of the incident, and get people their correct Medicaid cards.

DHHS is also working this weekend to meet all legal requirements when a potential HIPPA breach happens. Federal laws require DHHS to go through analysis to determine if the incident meets legal requirements to be considered a breach of protected health information. If confirmed, HIPPA breaches must be reported within 60 days of the incident, according to DHHS.

DHHS says Medicaid recipients will be issued new cards with new Medicaid ID numbers as soon as possible. They say that issuing new Medicaid ID numbers will make information on the cards mistakenly sent out invalid and will "mitigate potential misuse of the incorrectly issued cards."

The Medicaid Division says they plan to flag the affected Medicaid ID cards within the DHHS computer stem to treat them with "extra scrutiny and caution." DHHS will be alerted anytime a compromised car has been used.


 
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