Privacy Breaches Wound Veterans

October 13, 2013 – In The News
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

William Maruca was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article "Privacy Breaches Wound Veterans." While the full text can be found in the October 13, 2013, issue of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a synopsis is noted below.

A two-month Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigation found that Veterans Affairs workers or contractors committed 14,215 privacy violations at 167 facilities from 2010 through May 31, 2013, victimizing at least 101,018 veterans and 531 VA employees.

New Health and Human Services rules threaten medical providers, insurance companies and contractors with hefty fines that could reach $1.5 million for each violation, up from $25,000 per offense for repeat offenders.

“That’s a big hammer,” said William Maruca. “That doesn’t shrug off as ‘just another government mandate.’”

Health and Human Services officials acknowledged, however, that policy allows them to investigate VA violations but not to penalize the agency, even for repeat offenses.

This story was also featured in FierceEMR on October 15, 2013.