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Idaho Contractor Under Investigation for Privacy Violations

Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials are investigating a contractor Idaho selected to oversee its Medicaid behavioral health program for possibly violating patient-privacy laws.

In a collaborative report from the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio, health care providers say Optum Idaho sent them wrong patient information meant for other providers. Now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is investigating Optum for breaking federal patient protection laws because of the growing complaints filed by the providers.

Optum officials say they have fixed the problem, adding that the number of records sent out erroneously make up less than 1 percent of the 1.3 million claims they process. Idaho hired Optum last year in an effort to reduce Medicaid’s rising costs.

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