Medicaid ID theft sparks security system review by SC agencies
Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:48:49 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley has asked the state inspector general to review all agencies' security systems following the theft of personal information of more than 228,000 Medicaid patients.
State agency directors gave a rundown of their security procedures during Monday's Cabinet meeting.
While there are many safeguards in place from hacking, Inspector General Jim Martin says internal threats are significant. Earlier this month, 36-year-old Christopher Lykes, a former employee of the Department of Health and Human Services, was arrested for compiling the personal data and sending it to his private email account.
Agency director Tony Keck says notification letters to affected Medicaid patients were mailed last week.
â??I know you have red flags in place, but are they good enough? We have to change with the times. As technology changes our agencies have to change and if you will notice what alot of agencies are doing now is looking at annual changes to their plans every year, so that we can make sure that they are not just agreeing with whatâ??s happening but we continue to improve it," says Governor Nikki Haley.
Haley says in the future, a thief's supervisor should automatically be fired for not being responsible. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom says that should depend on the situation.
Although no health information was released in the recent Medicaid identification theft case, to address the possibility of identity theft and to give beneficiaries peace of mind, SCDHHS is making available a free year of identity protection services to every affected individual through a credit reporting service, which includes a free credit report Daily credit monitoring to detect any suspicious activity, and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy.
SCDHHS has created a website to answer questions from beneficiaries and help them enroll in the free protection services. SCDHHS has established a toll-free call center at 888-829-6561 for affected Medicaid beneficiaries.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.