Thursday, January 17, 2013

Annual UDOH Report Compares Utah Health Plans

What:   2012 Consumer Satisfaction Report of Utah Health Plans (CAHPS)

Why:    The purpose of the report is to give health care consumers information they can use to make an informed decision when selecting a health plan.  Specifically, the report describes how satisfied each health plan’s own members are with the care and services they receive from their plan.

Who:     Participating commercial HMOs were Altius Health Plans, Public Employees Health Plan (PEHP), and SelectHealth. 

The seven participating PPOs were Aetna, Cigna, Deseret Mutual, Educators Mutual, Humana, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, and United Healthcare. 

The three participating Medicaid plans were Healthy U, Molina Healthcare of Utah, and Select Access Preferred Provider Network.  Two Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans, administered by SelectHealth and Molina Healthcare, also participated.

When:  Currently available online.

Keely Cofrin Allen, PhDHealth Plan Program Manager
801-538-6551 (office) 801-598-5406 (cell)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UDOH Notifying Medicaid Clients of Missing Data

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today began the process of notifying approximately 6,000 Medicaid clients that some of their personal information was misplaced by a third-party contractor. The contractor, Goold Health Systems (GHS), processes Medicaid pharmacy transactions for the UDOH.

In violation of Department policy and its contract with the Department, a GHS employee saved personal health information on an unencrypted, portable USB memory device and then left UDOH headquarters with the device.  The employee misplaced the device while traveling between Salt Lake City, Denver, and Washington DC.  GHS confirmed the data were missing on January 15.

Personal information included in the data is limited to a Medicaid recipient’s name, Medicaid identification number, age (but not date of birth), and recent prescription drug use history. 

“There were no Social Security numbers or financial information included in the data, so we believe the potential risk for identity theft is minimal.  Further, we have no reason to believe the data were targeted by anyone to be used for malicious purposes,” said UDOH Deputy Director and state Medicaid Director Michael Hales.  “Nevertheless, we understand the anxiety this will likely cause, and want clients to know we are taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the missing data cannot be used to harm individual clients or defraud the Medicaid program.”

The Department is taking steps to protect the affected Medicaid identification numbers against potential fraudulent use.  The Office of the Inspector General for Medicaid Services has been alerted to the situation and will also be monitoring for suspicious activity.  

In addition, the Office of the Health Data Security Ombudsman will commit its full resources to assisting affected clients in any way they need.

Medicaid clients whose information was involved will receive letters from the UDOH alerting them to the situation within the next several days.

“I have directed UDOH attorneys to review our contract with Goold Health Systems, and I fully intend to seek whatever financial or contractual remedies are available in order to ensure GHS is held accountable for this serious mistake,” said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Patton.  “Protecting our clients’ personal information is of utmost importance to our department, and it must be the number one priority of our contractors as well.”

Patton also stated he expects GHS to assure the appropriate disciplinary action is taken, and that the responsible employee no longer be allowed to work with UDOH data.

For more information, Medicaid clients can call 1-800-662-9651 and select option 1 and then option 2, or e-mail

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Media Contact:
Tom Hudachko
UDOH Public Information Officer
(o) 801-538-6232
(m) 801-560-4649

Friday, January 4, 2013

WIC-Authorized Breads Impacted by Demise of Hostess

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Due to the closure of Hostess brands, two of the breads approved by the Utah WIC Program have been discontinued.

Currently, the only bread listed in the authorized foods booklet that remains available is the Sara Lee brand.  Two Sara Lee varieties are authorized, including Classic 100% Whole Wheat and Soft and Smooth 100% Whole Wheat in 16-oz. loaves.

Recently, the Smith's brand 16-oz. 100% Whole Wheat Round Top Bread has also been authorized and is available for WIC clients.

In the coming weeks, Dunford Bakers will begin providing two new 16-oz. varieties that are WIC-authorized. These include: Dunford Bakers Wheat Bread and Dunford Bakers Multi-Grain Bread. 

Also, there are a few grocery stores with in-store bakeries producing whole wheat bread that is WIC approved.

It is likely that additional choices may be available soon.  The Utah WIC Program will announce these new whole wheat breads on the Utah WIC website,, and in each of the WIC clinics across the state as they become available.
All products issued through WIC must meet certain nutrient and size requirements. Bread must be baked with whole wheat flour as the first ingredient and produced in 16-oz. loaves.  The State WIC Office reviews all product ingredients annually for nutrient and size requirements based on the Interim Food Rule of 2009 through the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Utah WIC Program is doing everything possible to ensure choice and variety of whole bread options for WIC participants across the state.  WIC participants may contact their local WIC clinic for more information.
Media Contacts:
Phyllis Crowley – 801-580-7589
Linda Schiele – 801-209-1429
Amber Brown – 801-520-6503