HHS OIG confirms cybersecurity center under investigation

The HHS Office of Inspector General is in the midst of an ongoing investigation into the Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, an HHS OIG spokesperson confirmed to Becker's Hospital Review March 28.

The Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, an initiative HHS initially planned to launch in June 2017, is tasked with coordinating cybersecurity information sharing across the healthcare industry. The center is based off the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

In November 2017, Politico reported the center had stalled amid personnel conflicts. HHS was reportedly investigating possible fraud in contracts signed by two top executives — Leo Scanlon and Maggie Amato — an anonymous HHS official told the publication. One allegation claimed the center directed a sole-source contract to a startup with personal connections to Ms. Amato.

Both Mr. Scanlon and Ms. Amato have denied any wrongdoing. In an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review March 20, Mr. Scanlon, deputy chief information security officer at HHS who has been placed on paid administrative leave since September, refuted recent claims he and Ms. Amato were under investigation for ethics violations.

At the time, an HHS OIG spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review the agency could neither confirm nor deny the investigation into Mr. Scanlon or Ms. Amato.

In the March 28 statement, the spokesperson clarified the agency's earlier comments.

"The OIG has a general practice of neither confirming nor denying the existence of an investigation being conducted by our office," the statement reads. "However, because information has come to light that suggests that the OIG was conducting an investigation involving the Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC), we are willing to acknowledge that an OIG investigation involving HCCIC is/was ongoing. We are not at liberty to provide any further details at this time."

More articles on cybersecurity:
OCR: 3 steps to create a cyberattack contingency plan
Report: 24.4% of web traffic in healthcare comes from 'bad bots'
Researchers in Canada collect PHI from recycling bins to study hospital information security

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months