United Healthcare is sharing personal health information overseas. The company, and contractors in the Philippines, are now reading BocaNewsNow.com.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BocaNewsNow.com has been reporting for days on United Healthcare’s sharing of your personal health information with contractors overseas. Our reporting has clearly gotten the attention of United Healthcare staffers in Plymouth, Minnesota. United Healthcare’s headquarters IP address has been seen multiple times in the logs of this website, as well as others maintained by the BocaNewsNow.com staff. There are also recurring visits from Manila (Philippines) where United Healthcare has outsourced its customer service staff and sent your personal health information.
Now, read this email received by BocaNewsNow:
The information sharing is worse than just customer service. I work in a department that reviews service requests from physicians and hospitals. The information is entered for much of the country by employees in the Philippines, by phone or fax. Literally every other request needs research for missing information or has to be corrected in some manner…Much higher than requests entered by U.S. employees. We all dread opening a Manila request to work.
Recently our department tracked these errors for five days and over 1,000 were logged. Personally I had so many I didn’t report all of them to save time.
The information we process includes basic information (names, address, phone, employer, etc) as well as extensive medical records submitted by providers. These employees also have access to history that includes all prior requests and records for these patients. Given the level of incompetentence, it amazes many of us that UHC allows this information to be handled in this manner.
Under commercial insurance we do have certain employer groups who do not allow overseas processing. Their requests are all specifically kept in the U.S. I wonder how many groups are actually aware that their employees’ health information is handled overseas. If it were widely known, I doubt they would allow it. The Philippines is a volatile country concerning typhoons, political unrest and terrorism. They have a weak infrastructure and are vulnerable to hacking. Any disaster or cyber event would cripple operations and compromise information and delay care. Yet, UHC allows sensitive health information to be exposed there.
Prior to opening operations there a few years ago, we handled all the requests in the USA very easily. There wasn’t too much work…It was a decision to outsource because it was cheaper. Between this and outsourcing claims processing to Ireland, UHC values it’s bottom line over patient privacy and security.
Is the State of Florida department of consumer affairs investigating United Healthcare? Stay tuned…
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