Contractor Previously Jeopardized Personal Data Of 6 Million Medicare Beneficiaries

Aliya Sternstein | Nextgov | October 31, 2013

The contractor now responsible for stabilizing, under a separate, ongoing contract, endangered the private information of millions of entitlement program beneficiaries, according to federal investigators.

Quality Software Services, Inc., or QSSI, failed to stop employees from connecting unauthorized USB devices, such as thumb drives and smartphones, to computers testing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services systems, investigators discovered. A June Health and Human Services inspector general report categorized this misstep as a “high” risk.

The findings came at an awkward time. QSSI was a key architect of the sign-in process that ultimately hobbled the enrollment process nationwide. QSSI built the registration tool. Certain procedures, asked for at the last minute by the administration, prohibited consumers from browsing health care plans until confirming their identities and creating accounts.