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Need for address verification remains clear in health care sector

Paul Newman Archive

Professionals in every line of work have a vested interest in maintaining strong address verification strategies - by keeping good track of people's contact information, they can get messages to them quickly and painlessly without any fear of an embarrassing error.

Every industry has this concern, but perhaps nowhere is it more important than in health care, where organizations are looking after sensitive personal information about people's medical histories and their finances. When things go wrong in this area, they go really wrong.

One recent example of a mishap comes from Atlanta. According to local news outlet WSB-TV, CVS Caremark recently made a blatant mistake by mailing prescription information for hundreds of customers to the wrong addresses. Around 350 people were affected in total, including one woman in Georgia who said she received a full list of prescription medications with someone else's name on it.

"I had somebody else's information who had my information and felt that was a violation of the Health Information Privacy Act," the customer told WSB-TV.

This breach of privacy has left many consumers worried about their personal information moving forward. Sarai Young, one CVS customer, expressed this concern to WSB-TV.

"It definitely makes your trust a little shaky now when it comes to your system," Young said. "It's like, how did you mess up this? How did this get mixed up?"

CVS Caremark said in a statement that the organization is in the process of notifying the affected members, fixing the original programming error and sending the mailings to their correct addresses after all. But sadly, the damage has already done. Numerous people have already had their security breached, and this makes for an embarrassing episode for both CVS and its customers. Smarter address verification technologies would have been a blessing for everyone involved.