CVS Accused Of Revealing HIV Status Of 4,000 Ohio Customers
By Ashlee Kieler, CONSUMERIST
August 31, 2017
Days after insurance giant Aenta was accused of revealing the HIV medication use of 12,000 customers, CVS has found itself in a similar boat: The pharmacy giant allegedly sent letters to customers that inadvertently revealed their HIV status.
CVS Caremark confirmed to Consumerist that the company recently mailed pharmacy benefit information to approximately 4,000 members of Ohio’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Those letters visibly referenced HIV.
The mailing campaign has since been discontinued.
ADAP pays for HIV medication for low-income consumers without insurance, or whose insurance won’t cover the medication.
One envelope viewed by The Blade included the notation “PM 6402 HIV” above a customer’s name and address, visible through the window of the envelope.
A rep for CVS tells Consumerist that the reference code was intended to refer to the name of the program, not the customer’s health status.
“CVS Health places the highest priority on protecting the privacy of our patients and we take our responsibility to safeguard confidential patient information very seriously,” the rep said. “We immediately halted the mailings and are currently taking steps to eliminate the reference to the plan name in any future mailings.”
The AIDS activist who provided a copy of the mailing to The Blade urges customers affected by the letters to contact the state’s ADAP coordinator to report what he considers a breach of clients’ privacy.