Woman Gets Others' Medical Records In Mail
OMG, this is horrendous! I hope BC/BS gets hit with a huge fine for this screw up! Imagine if it had been mailed to someone dishonest who could have used or sold that info.
A Seminole County woman was expecting a new insurance card from Blue Cross, Blue Shield, but she got a lot more than that.
The woman said she received a box filled with hundreds of personal, private medical records for other people.
The brown box sitting on her front doorstep Friday morning, she said, didn't look too out of place. However, as soon as the Sanford woman opened it, she found stack after stack of people's private medical records that certainly weren't in the right place.
"In the wrong hands, it is potentially very dangerous," she said.
The woman does not want to be identified, but she says she did order a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance card for her daughter.
It arrived in a Fed-Ex envelope and the brown box was sitting right beneath it from the same South Carolina Blue Cross, Blue Shield location.
"All these people live all over the United States of America. They have no idea that I'm reading their personal information," she said.
Eyewitness News sorted through the documents and found incredibly sensitive information, from peoples' addresses, to doctors, the medicines they're taking, insurance numbers and even their diagnosis.
"You've just violated every law, every law in the medical field by giving a stranger these peoples' medical information. It should've been shredded and it hasn't," she said.
Blue Cross, Blue Shield of South Carolina couldn't immediately say how the information could've been shipped out so haphazardly.
They assured Eyewitness News Friday that they'd rush a representative to her home to pick up the records.
Blue Cross, Blue Shield is investigating internally, using the information that WFTV provided them.
The woman who received the paperwork says she can't hand it over to them fast enough.
I have received wrong mail from insurance companies before - one time I received two Coverage of Benefits: one for me and one for some stranger. I noted the name was wrong, called the insurance company and sent it certified back to them.
Notice - I state that I didn't READ the info and I DIDN"T call the news media. Sorry, these people are justing looking for a lawsuit and we have too many of them.
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jun 20, '09
Jun 20, '09
Quote from Batman24
Exactly. She calls the news to report it versus the company and she reads it and lets the newspeople read it?! Shameful. I would have closed and taped the box and called the company immediately and not continued to invade their privacy.
Batman24, you have taken a vow to respect patients' confidentiality; and the woman in receipt of the package with the brown box in it, has not. I didn't read that she allowed the information in the box to be disclosed by the media.
Gross inefficiency with such information should not go without repercussions. I've worked for BC/BS/Wellpoint, and I wasn't in the least surprised with the error that occurred. I do wonder who the addressee and address on the package, was. If I get a piece of mail without my name, but with someone else's name on it, I wouldn't open it, in that scenario, but would forward it on by writing NOT AT THIS ADDRESS and take it to the post office, unopened.
That insurance company has many workers who do their thing at home, and that could have been the case - that a worker at home was going to process the information, which may not have been in separate, sealed envelopes.
Last edit by lamazeteacher on Jun 20, '09
: Reason: typo