Medicare and Medicaid computer security is riddled with serious flaws according to federal investigators which could lead to improper disclosure of medical information.
The New York Times reported that the computer network contained sensitive financial data on beneficiaries connecting the databank of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to many organizations, like banks, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, health plans and other private institutions.
A report from the Government Accountability Office found that "key information security controls were missing" from the communications network used by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
According to the Times the absence of security controls could lead to the disclosure of sensitive medical information on people enrolled in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In addition the GAO report warned that personal information on a recipient "could be improperly modified, disclosed or deleted."
The computer network is primarily used for payment of claims as well as for the communication with state Medicaid agencies, private contractors and health care providers.