November 18, 2017
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Comments for: Personal data exposed in DHHS mailing mishap

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  • Anonymous

    Whoooooops breach of confidentiality maybe, they should all be fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Tell me this wasn’t on purpose.  Don’t suppose they are trying to discourage recent applicants to you?

    • Anonymous

      This was most definitely not on purpose. The state can lose a lot of money for screw-ups such as this via sanctions from the Feds. So no. But the one thing this article doesn’t make clear is info about this “portal” system, it is less than a year old (about 6mos); so it is still going through its hiccup stage.

  • Anonymous

    This agency is the poster child for  governmental incompetence

    • Anonymous

      HIPPA allows for financial companion ( apx $250,000.00) via
      a law suit for the individuals whose confidential information was disclosed…go
      get them!

      • Anonymous

        Except this is not a HIPAA violation…

      • Anonymous

         you mean come get us the tax payers

        • Anonymous

          So what!  The State screwed up, the victims should be compensated.

        • Guest

          Don’t you people get tired of hearing the sound of your own voice over and over. Me, me, me. It’s all about you.
          The state erred and put people at risk and all you moan about is you the taxpayer[s]

          • Anonymous

             Hannaford erred and TjMaxx erred- where are the law suits?  I agree the state screwed up, but why is everything sue, sue, sue. I am glad it is not a HIPAA violation, because they cannot get a dime.

          • Anonymous

            In the case of Hannaford and TJ Maxx, their databases were hacked.  They were the victims of a crime. In this case, the State made an error.  It was their fault.  Now the victims of this error get to live the next 5 years of their lives in fear of having their identities stolen.  I would say, in this case, compensation is appropriate.

          • Anonymous

             I have a hangnail and theres a pot hole on my road….plus the weatherman said sun and its cloudy…I’m gonna sue…lol

      • Anonymous

         I used to have a financial companion, but once the money was gone she took off.

    • Anonymous

      And the promotion of laziness!

  • Anonymous

    “They are legally obligated to return it and we have reminded them that identity theft is a crime,” Mayhew said in the statement.   But DHHS isn’t legally required to NOT share personal information and isn’t an accessory to any identity theft???  DHHS  what a pathetic JOKE they can’t manage their BUDGET anymore than they can insure HIPAA compliance.

    • Anonymous

       HIPPA ? There health information was sent out as well ?

      • Anonymous

         NO!  There is no HIPPA violation here

        • Anonymous

           That’s what I thought…some think so I guess.

    • Anonymous

      More than 12,000 letters go out a week.  Apparently, this is a new practice, and past administrations didn’t send any out.  Of course they’re going to make mistakes on their first attempt, right?????  Oh yeah, wait, DHHS has been sending out more than 12,000 letters every week for YEARS, DECADES even!!!  And did anyone else do this?  No, just this incompetent new lot of profeshunuls we got here in Maine now.

  • Anonymous

    Typical DHHS efficiency!

  • Anonymous

    I clearly see where this was a mistake and that they have taken steps to correct it..

    • Anonymous

      So when they take your social security information off your tax return and “mistakenly” mail it to the rest of the state, your going to just shrug and say oh well they made a boo – boo?

      • Anonymous

        John Baldacci hired a donor to install a computer system for 125 millon at DHS. the thing has plagued the State ever since. It cannot be fixed because it was never whole.
        There is a leak in the warp drive caption.
        Until we spend 200 millon to replace the computer system the best they can do is patch it when it springs a leak.

        • Anonymous

          All that is great stuff, except for the tiny flaw in your comment. This new (see that word?) “Portal” system is less than a year old.

        • Anonymous

          “John Baldacci hired a donor to install a computer system for 125 millon at DHS.”

          Support your claim.

        • Guest

          ——-

      • Anonymous

         Wait…They will take your tax papers and your social security info and mail it out to millions ? Will they do that because you didn’t apply for benefits or to punish you for filing taxes ? Drama much ?

  • Anonymous

    So DHHS screws up big time again – then immediately sends out letters to the innocent recipients of this information basically accusing them of committing a crime.
    Oh come on –  Stand up and take responsibility for once.

    • Anonymous

      What ? If you were one of the 83 people would you want a little lingo in the letter that says do the right thing ? They never accuse the people of a crime…READ

      “They are legally obligated to return it AND we have reminded them that identity theft is a crime,”

      That does not say it is identity theft if they don’t return it. It
      says that they are legally obligated to return it AND that identity
      theft is a crime…in other words, the people that got them are just
      being nicely told that if they do anything criminal with the info they
      got, weather they send it back or not, it is a crime.

  • Anonymous

    Credits ruined if it’s hit on too many times, insurance,
    Ha ha too fun, too late

    • Guest

      Are you laughing at the poor? Identity theft is a bad thing for anyone.

  • Ben Hutchins

    (facepalm)

  • Anonymous

    Just for chuckles and giggles, let’s do the math.  80 out of 12,000 = about 1% error for this week. 80 out of 624,000/year = just over .01%.  We all know it should not have happened, and there should be oversight, ownership and accountability. However, only if you are more perfect than this should you be throwing stones at the individuals who make up DHHS.  Many of the comments here make me think of the days of rock throwing, witch hunts and scarlet letters. The feeling seems to be that either somebody (or everybody) at DHHS needs to be burned at the stake! There’s always room for improvement, and improvements should be made whenever they can be, but are any of these comments useful in that process? Dig deep, people. Being constructive in our world will never hurt it as much as being destructive. At least our heads and our hearts would be in the right place and who knows? Maybe one of us has a decent idea hidden in there somewhere. 

    • Melora

       Very well said.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. All these comments are unnecessary. The people at DHHS work hard to help people. Life is tough and they’re there to help. 
      I hope all these people realize when they declare DHHS a waste they are essentially against helping families in need, and most of all women and children.

      • Anonymous

        Unless DHHS addresses these numerous failures on their part to manage their business, they absolutely risk NOT being able to help anyone. Remind yourself how many MILLIONS of dollars they were in the red already BEFORE this latest fiasco. Theres going to be a lot of present and future needy people who are not going to benefit from DHHS services unless they figure out what to do to fix these re-occuring issues ASAP

    • Anonymous

       Well said !

    • Anonymous

      I have a problem with the fact that after NUMEROUS costly mistakes by DHHS, that very little progress has been made on fixing these issues. If the CEO of a company causes that company to lose money, they get REPLACED. It seems to me that upper management of DHHS needs to be relieved of their duties, and replaced by people willing to make the changes necessary to correct these issues. I have certainly not seen a noticeable effort on their part. What you are hearing in these comments is the fact that there have been MULTIPLE costly errors, and it continues to happen. Thats why people are so frustrated.

      • Anonymous

         Lepage did that…Even Mayhew is new. He did just about a clean sweep this year. In fact I do believe Mayhew may be trying to do PR clean up of things that happened before she was even there.

    • szyq43

      Your comment was very thoughtful and insightful which is nice instead of finger pointing and blaming. There will always be mistakes made as we are human beings and not perfect. This mentallity of sue, sue, sue really scares me mostly for the future of my children. I believe if this mentallity continues we will lose doctors, nurses, and so many more due to the ease of lawsuits. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing an ad (call this number if u were……) The massive cuts to DHHS don’t help these mistakes from happening either.

      • Anonymous

        You sound reasonable and have well thought out replies…Thank you !

  • Another blunder from the most inefficient branch of State Government.

  • Anonymous

    If this was done in the private sector someone’s head would roll. Screw up in the private sector, fired. Screw up at DHHS get promoted to a better job. Paul, please do something bedsides flap your gums!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Who is he going to fire? The only person who would take the job after EVERY other candidate passed on it?
      Why do you think Mayhew is still in charge?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t remember anyone taking responsibility when Hannaford released bank account info on thousands of customers. In fact they tried to shift the blame on others. At least DHHS has accepted responsibility and are taking steps to fix the problem.

    • Anonymous

      In real life, a bobblehead wouldn’t be in charge.

    • T H

      I totally agree with you. Mayhew should be fired today by 5:00p.m desk packed and herself escorted out of the building and state id badge taken!!

      • Anonymous

         Mayhew just got there , give her a chance. This is stuff that happened before she even got there. “Paul ” did do something. He cleaned house down there and has been since he took office. Almost all higher ups were replaced. It’s been news for months, it was a big deal…even fired someone that had just got a big promotion.

        • Anonymous

          Well, not exactly, the LePage Admin owns this one but wholly. The Portal system that misfired these letters, it is less than a year old. So this is all under his tenure.
          I hope these things humble his admin a bit, since they aren’t doing any better than the last admin when it comes to screw ups at DHHS.

          • Anonymous

             I understand, I was just responding to another post that stated it was Mayhew that should be fired.

          • Anonymous

            She isn’t going anywhere, unless she chooses to. LePage kinda painted himself into a corner with her, especially with his amazingly inept introduction of her at the nomination process.
            That, however, is not to say she shouldn’t be fired.

        • Guest

          …..

    • Melora

       Private sector doesn’t offer identity theft insurance (at least I’ve never ever seen that published in the news when the big companies lose personal information or their site is hacked).  At least DHHS is offering assistance to those affected.  The big multi-million dollar companies and banks don’t do much at all for their consumers when this happens.

    • Anonymous

      Nobody’s head rollin at Bank of America. They’re not in the private sector anymore,just like all the other “too big to fail” Wall Street slimeballs. Bank of America is more of a threat to our way of life than terrorism.

  • sassyfrazz

    Maybe we should consider hiring a human being or two to oversee the computer system. 

    Oh wait I forgot – it’s more ‘efficient’ to pay licensing fees for a deficient computer program. 

  • Anonymous

    Mistake?     Just admit the facts the whole department is incompetent.

  • I dont think id leave any sensative info on the website first off and secondly i didnt know I could get more food stamps by telling dhs i was a medicinal marijuana user.  

    • Anonymous

      You can’t, anymore. But you don’t get more Food Supplement unless you are paying out of pocket for your Medicinal Marijuana, or at least when you could still get the deduction. Plus it had to be at least $35 a month, and the first $35 doesn’t count.
      But it is all moot since the Feds pulled back on it for all states.

  • Anonymous

    Good heavens no, but let me be clear if I
    Wasn’t forced to give up 4 months of salary
    a year in supporting others I would be brining
    home below poverty level pay.
    What I was laughing at was the lame, disturbing
    excuse and help they offered, that can cost these
    people ruination of the rest of their lives

  • Anonymous

    Makes one wonder if DHHS can do anything right, doesn’t it?

  • Anonymous

    Can’t they do anything right?

  • Anonymous

    I have been in the process of trying to keep Bank of America from foreclosing on a house I built with my wife thirty eight years ago. We’ve been at it for over two years. B.O.A. sent me a few forms to fill out about a year and a half ago. They sent PDF documents to me online. The documents were already filled out with the names, addresses, income figures,telephone numbers,social security numbers, and a lot more. Three different individuals were totally ” given up” by B.O.A. We notified B.O.A. immediately and were told by ” Erica” that ” I only sent those forms so you would know how to fill them out” ” those aren’t “real” names just ” dummy” names”. We checked. Googled all three names. They were and are real customers of Bank of America. I notified the District Attorney of both Maine and Massachusetts.
    Zip. Nothing. Consumer Credit Protection. Federal Trade Commission. Zip. I’ve had it

  • Anonymous

    Now .Why does that not surprise me

  • T H

    DHS should also have to pay each and every person a set amount of money. That mistake should have NEVER and I mean NEVER should have been made!! There is NO excuse for that type of mistake!

  • Melora

    I wonder if identity theft insurance is good “after the fact”??   That is really nice that they offered it–wow!  All banks who lose personal information like this (and this happens a lot with the big companies and stores) should offer identity theft insurance to consumers!!

  • i think a class lawsuit is in order?????? make em pay for there mistakes like they do others.

    • Anonymous

       Do you know where that money would come from ? Stop being so knee jerk. How many kids have any people commenting gone to in the night when they have had both arms broken by someone that should have loved them ?  Workers who don’t sleep at night because they are sure there is a child being hurt, starved or neglected. This agency is full of a lot of good, caring , hard working people. The bureaucrats are the ones to blame for stupid things like this and after them , it’s us. We the people that complain and demand less money spent daily on anything, so you have a machine that sorts and labels mail and got it wrong. Shame on people for criticizing a whole agency for these actions. Sounds like the employees are in a no win situation. They are trying to make it right, what do you want them to do ?

  • Anonymous

    I say lets give all mainers with health issue, income under 50,000 a year, the elderly mainecare and we might overlook their incompetence.  If we did it we would be in jail or court…correct

  • Anonymous

    I say give all Mainers with health issues, income under $50,000 and the elderly Mainecare and we might overlook it.  They appologize?  HIPPA!!!!!  

    • Anonymous

       What does HIPPA have to do with it ?

  • Anonymous

    DHHS providing excellent examples of incompetence on a daily basis.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we should give them responsibility for Mitt’s tax returns.That way,the taxpayers might get the information they deserve.

  • Superuser23

    Wait, if the people don’t return the information it is identity theft yet the folks who had their information given out can’t hold the state responsibile for not keeping personal information secure?
    The state sent it to them, that is not identity theft.

    “I sincerely apologize to those whose information was mishandled and to those who inadvertently received it. Keeping personal information secure is, and always has been, our highest priority.”

    So far you are not doing a good job, WLBZ just reported this started back in December and here it is July and our transparent goverment has pubicly come forward with another so called computer glitch.

    Good Job Maine, keep up that classy work you are doing.

    • Anonymous

       “They are legally obligated to return it and we have reminded them that identity theft is a crime,”

      That does not say it is identity theft if they don’t return it. It says that they are legally obligated to return it AND that identity theft is a crime…in other words, the people that got them are just being nicely told that if they do anything criminal with the info they got, weather they send it back or not, it is a crime.

      • Superuser23

        These people have had the notices since December and it doesn’t get pointed out (discovered is the wrong word as someone had to tell DHHS) who is to say they didn’t shred the information, or discard it period?
        DHHS needs to understand that this screw up took place 8 months ago. I don’t hang on to mail for 8 months. I am sure someone saw it and said “not me” and got rid of it because they were not aware that in 8 months the state would want it back.
        Too bad so sad for this unfortunate state, they need to step up to the plate and take some responsibility.

        • Anonymous

           Where does it say when the people were notified ? In fact, this article doesn’t say when it happened or how long it took to notify people. Just because it is being reported now does not mean that they just now notified the people. The point is people are not supposed to have mail that was not intended for them…an honest person would call and say they got it by mistake, in fact, if they were waiting for an answer on if they were approved for any benefits then they would be even more inclined to call and discuss the mistaken mail. In the end, no, I really don’t think they will be prosecuted if they say they threw it away…unless later identity theft traces back to that person.

          • Superuser23

            Where does the article say the people were notified? I never said the article said that, I don’t rely on the BDN for updated news, trust me.

          • Anonymous

             What you said is it has been 8 months and some people would not have the letter…I was just stating that the folks could have been notified right away to send it back…we are just hearing about it now.

        • Anonymous

          I was one of the 79 people whose information was sent out.  My family’s info was sent to a different part of the country, and the woman who received it was nice enough to inform me of the mistake.  Our information was updated in June and was sent out within a matter of days. In our case, the mistake was very recent.

  • Anonymous

     Bruce ” Bunyan” Poliquin should be all over this…or is he still crying in his “forest” ?

  • EB

    After reading this article I knew there were going to be some hateful comments toward the DHHS. All I can say is this department has done well to correct and continue to correct all the flaws created during the Baldacci Administration. Errors such as these described above DO have to do with the State Information Tech department. They need to start taking responsiblity for all the electronic data that gets thrown around.  Maybe we should put some of the blame on Richard Thompson? Just guessing…

    On another note, a friend of mine was getting his boat worked on and was moving it from one dock to another. The Coast Guard came to do a random boat inspection and of course he had nothing on his boat yet since it was the beginnning of the year and was just being worked on. They wrote him up and were suppose to send him some papers in the mail. They ended up being sent to some guy in NH who just happend to be a cop. He called and said he got some CG papers with my friend’s SS # and other personal info. Great huh?! Government at work!

  • Anonymous

    Well I suppose this means that their budget shortfall just got ALOT worse. My son has mainecare as a secondary insurance because he has a disability. He was the victim of another of DHHS computer glitches recently when he received a termination of mainecare coverage letter for NO reason. Took me 3 days of calling DHHS for them to finally tell me it was a computer error. I think that DHHS needs a complete overhaul-upper management staff wise and technology issues need to be addressed ASAP-this would save DHHS money in the long run. How many more expensive mistakes is it going to take before they start implementing some serious changes. We, the taxpayers are paying for these VERY expensive mistakes.I hope my sons privacy wasnt compromised with this breach. No letter from DHHS yet, so I can only hope this means we will not get one.

    • Anonymous

       Did you just recently apply for benefits or do your application online ? If not, like the article says, you are fine.

    • Anonymous

       This is very unfortunate- they freak people out by sending letters that their healthcare is terminated and then say ‘oh just kidding, we were not suppose to send that’.  The left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing. Ugh. 

  • Anonymous

    Hey this isn’t funny, but just think about this.We as tax payers have the right to know where our tax dollars go. Right? So, how about the state make the names public knowledge to whom get state welfare money, and for what it used for. I mean it’s our tax money. You wouldn’t go to the garage and have them charge you $200.00 and not give you an itemized bill. Would you? We don’t need s.s. numbers or bank account info. Just names. Think some would get off the system?

    • Anonymous

      N-Ever gonna HAP-pen. There are such things as laws, and each and every benefit provided by DHHS is confidential. That is why this is such a Huge deal, it is a major screw up; and they know it.
      Just one example of why this is never gonna happen, HIPPA; end of story.

    • Guest

      ////////

  • Conley Raye

    If this happened at a bank there would be mass firings. What does DHHS think they are above that ? This is a very serious offense and needs to be dealt with. You cannot jeopardize the public and not be held accountable in any land.

    • Anonymous

      In this case it was dealt with, the agency took responsibility and did all they could do to assist the customer. If you remember another example here in Maine at Hannaford that affected thousands of people. Their customers were told to work out any problems with their own banks.

  • Anonymous

    “Computer glitch.” Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Even if someone were so inclined to try it, what is the point of stealing the identity of someone living on assistance?

  • Anonymous

    The Democrates are paying attention now because LePage is trying to find out where all the freeken money is going…Its hard to get limited money to people who really need it when so many who don’t are trying to misapropriate it…Its time for heads to roll!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is so typical of DHHS.  Perhaps if they paid a little more attention to the loads of useless pieces of paper that they love to send out per week (with return envelops that do not align correctly) this would not have happened.  Oh and it would be great if they also returned phone calls.  Oh and actually did their jobs instead of pretending to.

  • Lord Whiteman

     Mary Mayhew’s self confessed ignorance of how to run a large department is really starting to pay off for the DHHS haters down at the Heritage society.   This will surly get Papa Lepage a pat on the back.

  • Anonymous

    Well, chalk up another one for the queen of incompetence.  I don’t know how much more LePage needs to see her screw up before he gets rid of her.

    • Lord Whiteman

      Mayhew has a long ways to go before she is as incompetent as Lepage.

    • Anonymous

      I think she was handed a mess by her predecessors. What LePage needs to do is say, in no uncertain terms, “Get this GD computer fixed or can the bad actors. And if the union is allowing this to happen – I said IF – then they need some legal action.” 

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, all those things have to do with a third party sharing your social security and bank account information.  These are totally in the same ballpark.

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