Temple University Health System agreed to pay the U.S. $130,000 and change its drug dispensing system after a federal audit and investigation of its procedures found problems with the way its pharmacies were keeping track of controlled substances. The two-hospital system cooperated with the Drug Enforcement Administration review after its chief of anesthesiology at 740-bed Temple University Hospital sold 60 vials of ketamine to an undercover agent in 2004, leading to the physician’s arrest and conviction, according to an agreement reached with the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia and announced late last month. More record-keeping issues were uncovered with a second review after an anesthesiologist at 186-bed Jeanes Hospital was found to have manipulated Temple’s computerized dispensing system in order to pilfer fentanyl and morphine for his own use. In a written statement, the system emphasized that administrators cooperated with both investigations and, in the second case, triggered the action by reporting their suspicions about the physician to the police. “We are pleased that the amount of the agreement recognizes the hospitals’ controls and reporting systems that have been instituted over the past six years,” the statement said.
Health Net of Connecticut has agreed to pay $375,000 in penalties for failing to safeguard member information from misuse by third parties, Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan said. According to a news release announcing the fine, Health Net fully cooperated with the insurance commissioner’s review of a 2009 data breach in which Health Net lost personal health information of about 500,000 Connecticut members. In a statement, Health Net said it worked with the state’s insurance commissioner to improve security and agreed to complete measures requested by the regulator. There has been no evidence the lost data has been misused, according to Health Net’s statement. The insurer will offer members affected by the breach free credit monitoring, $1 million of identity theft insurance and fraud resolution service for two years. Health Net also said it would cover the cost to restore members’ identity in the event of identity theft. “Protecting the privacy of our members is extremely important to us,” Health Net said in the statement. The Connecticut insurance commissioner’s action follows inquiries by the state attorney general’s office, which reached an agreement in July for Health Net to pay $250,000 after the disappearance of a hard drive with information for roughly 1.5 million current and former members.