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Thursday, May 28, 2015

In the name of privacy...

After the massive US IRS data breach announcement this week, CMS has posted that it is establishing a more secure system for access to Medicare Secondary Payer Information. This is pretty consistent with President Obama's announcement to take Social Security Numbers off of Medicare Cards. 

The real issue is that while workers' compensation records are supposedly confidential in State systems, the Federal government has consistently neglected to insure that privacy whether be: medical records under HIPPA; by integration of  state's motor vehicle or workers' compensation records utilizing Social Security Numbers, or by Medicare Secondary Payer Act electronic data systems. 

Additionally, the Federal government will probably be mandating the reporting workers' compensation payment information, in Federal Income Returns shortly. The batting record of the IRS this week on privacy has been dismal.

Time will only tell whether workers' compensation data can actually be shielded from intruders. 

CMS announced today:

"As part of the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be implementing optional MFA services on the MSPRP. MFA is the use of two or more different authentication factors to verify the identity of an end user. Verified users will have access to view unmasked claim data on the Portal.

"Non debtors will still need to have a Verified Proof of Representation or Consent to Release authorization to perform actions on cases. Please note that MFA and the associated identity proofing process will be optional to portal users. Portal users may continue to use the portal without going through the MFA process but will not have the benefit of viewing un-masked data.

"MFA is scheduled to be available beginning on July 13, 2015. Updated user guides and training materials will be available on and within the portal upon implementation.