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“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is lax in its oversight of healthcare data security when it comes to Medicare beneficiaries, particularly for sharing data with researchers, warned a government watchdog agency.”

“Recent data breaches have highlighted the importance of securing health information, including Medicare beneficiary data. Such data are created, stored, and used by a variety of organizations, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, financial institutions, and researchers.”

“In a report released April 5, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that CMS has failed to develop data security control guidance for researchers…”

“Researchers and qualified entities access Medicare data through the MS chronic conditions data warehouse/virtual research data center, which is a research database designed to make Medicare data more readily available.”

“While CMS has established an oversight program for the security of MAC data, it has not established a similar program to oversee security of data handled by researchers and…” Read the full article here.

Source: GAO Raps CMS for Lax Healthcare Data Security in Medicare – By Fred Donovan, April 11, 2018. HealthIT Security.

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