News briefs – Aug. 29


Staff report



Ohio, news


HOSPITAL NOTIFIES PATIENTS OF LOST RECORDINGS – Akron Children’s Hospital has notified 7,664 patient families that a hard drive of back-up transport voice recordings is lost. The recordings do not contain Social Security numbers or financial information, but some include names and information considered to be protected health information.

The hard drive was in a locked, secure area of the hospital’s Akron campus and was discovered missing on June 30. It contains voice recordings of communications between dispatchers and medical staff at community hospitals, physician offices and Akron Children’s emergency departments prior to or during the transport of patients between Sept. 18, 2014, and June 3, 2015.

Typically, the medical teams refer only to the age and gender of the patient, but occasionally names and other identifying information are used.

“Our internal investigation indicated the hard drive was lost and nothing malicious was involved,” said Grace Wakulchik, chief operating officer at Akron Children’s Hospital. “We place the highest importance on protecting patient information.”

The hospital is following notification rules of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, including mailing letters to affected patient families.

“We truly regret this situation and value the trust our patient families place in us when we care for their children. At this time we do not believe parents need to take any further actions,” said Wakulchik. “To prevent similar incidents, we have taken steps to ensure all mobile devices are encrypted and we no longer store transport voice recordings on mobile devices.”

Families who received a letter or believe their child was transported to Akron Children’s during the 9-month period and have questions may call 866-329-5860 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

LICENSURE OF OHIO’S FIRST CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY ANNOUNCED – Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced today that Imprise Financial PCC, Inc., (“Imprise Financial”) is now licensed as Ohio’s first ‘protected cell’ captive insurance company. Through its protected cells, Imprise Financial will allow businesses to insure some of their own commercial risks, realize greater control of their risk-management programs, and achieve long-term financial stability.

In June, 2014, Governor Kasich signed into law legislation allowing businesses to form captive insurance companies domiciled in Ohio for their own commercial insurance needs and granting the Ohio Department of Insurance the authority to regulate such captive insurance programs. The protected cell captive insurance structure eliminates market-entry barriers that companies typically face when considering a self-insurance program.

“This is a momentous occasion for Ohio and more specifically, for Ohio businesses,” said Taylor, also Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Giving businesses the option to form a captive is another tool designed to help them thrive in Ohio.”

COLUMBUS EARNS AN A- FOR SMALL BUSINESS FRIENDLINESS – Small business owners gave Columbus an A- for its business friendliness with a noteworthy A+ for training and networking programs, grading the city’s policies higher than average grades in the state overall, according to Thumbtack’s annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. Complete results for Columbus are published at https://www.thumbtack.com/oh/columbus/.

Nearly 18,000 U.S. small business owners responded to this year’s survey, including 134 in Columbus and 546 in Ohio. The study asked respondents to rate their state and city governments across a broad range of policy factors. Thumbtack then evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.

“Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their governments but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack. “Columbus stands out as the friendliest city for small business in Ohio, but could do more to improve its regulatory climate.”

“It is quick and simple to set up a business in Ohio,” commented a life coach in Columbus. “The state is incredibly helpful and everything is available online.”

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