Kaiser Permanente Shuts Down Online Application System Following Security Breach
Oakland-based HMO Kaiser Permanente last month shut down its online application system for several hours after a software error resulted in a security breach, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The problem occurred Feb. 26 when a California man accessed the prospective member section of Kaiser's Web site to apply for health coverage and an Oregon woman's application for coverage, which contained sensitive medical information, appeared on his screen, the Chronicle reports. A similarity in passwords or ID numbers and other technical issues caused the problem, Kaiser officials said. In response, the company shut down its online application for five hours on Feb. 27 to correct the problem. Kaiser spokesperson Lea Rubio said that the online application system has been in place for four years, adding that the breach was an isolated incident that the HMO has taken steps to prevent it from recurring (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.