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Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part V]

About the Ship USNS COMFORT
By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™
Dateline: August 4, 2009USNS Comfort Canton, Maryland

The official Navy ship USNS COMFORT [“Medical Treatment Facility”] has the primary mission to provide a mobile, flexible and rapidly responsive capability for acute medical and surgical care in support of amphibious task forces. These forces include the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force elements, forward deployed Navy elements of the fleet, and activities located in areas where hostilities may be imminent. Operations are governed by the principles of the “Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea”, as of August 12, 1949.


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Shaun B, informed me that despite advanced age, my application for a four month tour would be gladly reviewed. And, it is under serious future consideration as my nurse sister is a recent Bronze Star Award winner from a Combat Army Surgical Hospital [CASH] unit stationed in Iraq. I also did my trauma surgery training in Martin Army Hospital, at Fort Benning Georgia, back-in-the-day.

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Part IV: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-iv/


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2 Responses

  1. TRICARE data breach was targeted
    [Targeted identity thefts hit data breach victims]

    “Victims of TRICARE data theft report financial fraud” by Bob Brewin was posted on Nextgov yesterday. http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120314_6971.php?oref=topstory

    I’m not even a TRICARE identity theft victim and I’m pissed at the industry-wide recklessness in HIT. So imagine how angry they feel.

    Even though throughout the giddy development of EHRs no stakeholder has wanted to openly discuss the ever increasing danger of identity theft – not with billions of stimulus dollars being thrown around – we all knew it was only a matter of time before patients’ identities would be targeted. Now the public is catching on to the deception the hard way.

    The complaint has been amended to acknowledge that TRICARE beneficiaries had to take extensive steps to protect their financial information:

    — Virginia Gaffney of Hampton, Va., a TRICARE beneficiary and military spouse, said her USAA credit card was rejected at a restaurant; she later discovered the company had canceled her card due to suspicious activity.

    — Antoinette Morelli, a disabled Air Force veteran of the Gulf War, said she and her husband, a retired Air Force colonel, discovered unauthorized charges on two credit cards and unauthorized withdrawals from two bank accounts.

    — James Biggerman, a retired Army command sergeant major who lives in Shelbyville, Ind., was notified about fraudulent charges on his credit card account shortly after the tape theft and started receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers and scam artists.

    — Juan Diego Hernandez, a Frisco, Texas, Army veteran noticed unauthorized charges on the credit card account he holds with his wife and spent hours on the phone with the bank resolving the errors.

    — Carol Keller, the Revere, Mass., spouse of a disabled Air Force veteran, said she discovered three separate fraudulent charges against her credit or debit cards since last October.

    Imagine how angry other TRICARE clients were when they discovered that they “had to cancel credit cards and close bank accounts; open new credit cards and bank accounts; stop direct deposits to those compromised accounts and re-enroll in direct deposits for new accounts; stop recurring electronic payments from compromised accounts and re-enroll in electronic payments through new accounts; and otherwise spend time and money in mitigation responding to notifications following the wrongful disclosure that certain financial accounts have been compromised,” according to the complaint.

    “Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Advocacy Group in Austin, Texas, said unwanted marketing, credit card cancellation, and identity theft are typical and expected when sensitive, richly detailed personal health data is breached. It could take years to discover the repercussions of stolen medical information, she said.”

    Most ominous of all, it was a targeted theft.

    “The thief or thieves stealthily broke into the employee’s Honda Civic and took the unencrypted backup tapes and records, thereby gaining information worth billions of dollars. The nature of this theft supports the logical inference that the thief or thieves were specifically targeting the confidential information contained on the backup tapes and records.”

    No more fun and games, folks. You’re quickly losing Americans’ trust.

    I don’t know what you are going to do about EMRs, but if electronic dental records cannot be de-identified, the logical thing for dentists to do is to return to paper – the gold standard in security.

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


  2. TRICARE identity heist details

    Yesterday, Howard Anderson posted “TRICARE Breach Victims Report Fraud – 8 Class Action Lawsuits Pending; Consolidation Sought” on HealthcareInfoSecurity.com.


    Anderson says that according to the complaint, the backup tapes were left in an employee’s 2003 Honda Civic parked “‘in a parking garage of an upscale office building with 24-hour security in downtown San Antonio.” The complaint continues: “The parking garage where the security breach took place contained many cars that were far more valuable than the 2003 Honda Civic. Yet the thief or thieves, who went to great effort to avoid security, did not break into any of the luxury cars in the garage, targeting instead the relatively inexpensive car containing the confidential data.” Evidently, the thief or thieves stole a radio/CD player and a GPS unit as well. That way, if someone got caught, they might go to jail for breaking into the cheapest car in the garage. All in all, not a bad risk for $240 million. Whether you are a provider or not, as a healthcare consumer, don’t you find that scary?

    According to the Ponemon Institute, the street value of the 4.9 million financial identities at $5 each is $24.5 million. The medical identities bring ten times that much.

    Do you think the successful TRICARE heist will increase or decrease the demand for stolen medical records?

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


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