Medicare: HCFA Needs to Better Protect Beneficiaries' Confidential Health Information

T-HEHS-99-172 Published: Jul 20, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1999.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed how the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) protects personally identifiable health information on Medicare beneficiaries, focusing on: (1) HCFA's need for personally identifiable health information to manage the Medicare program; (2) HCFA's policies and practices regarding disclosure of information on Medicare beneficiaries to other organizations; (3) the adequacy of HCFA's safeguards for protecting the confidentiality of electronic information and its monitoring of other organizations that obtain information on Medicare beneficiaries; and (4) the effect on HCFA of state restrictions on the disclosure of confidential health information.

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