Toronto hospital network says 150 patients affected by data breach

By Denise Paglinawan

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ A Toronto hospital network says about 150 patients have been affected by a data breach in which their medical records were allegedly used in an extortion attempt involving a third-party provider.

Unity Health Toronto said the incident involved a former employee with Nuance Communications, a company that transcribes clinical notes dictated by doctors at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The hospital network said it learned of the matter in May and notified patients last week.

“We take this matter seriously and have notified all impacted patients,” Unity Health Toronto said in a statement.  “We apologize for any distress this may cause to the roughly 150 patients affected.”

The worker with Nuance Communications allegedly held on to patient records after leaving the company, Unity Health said.

In March, that person then allegedly attempted to use the records to get Nuance to pay him money, the health network said.

The records contained patient names, medical history, diagnoses and treatments, according to the network. It noted that no financial or health insurance information was included.

Nuance reported the matter to police in India, where the alleged incident is believed to have taken place, Unity Health said. Officers seized a computer believed to contain the patient information, the network said.

A court injunction was also issued to prevent the former employee from further accessing or sharing any information from the patient reports, the health network said.

Unity Health added that Nuance Communications had said it took steps to improve their information security practices.

St. Michael’s Hospital said it was conducting its own investigation and had reported the matter to Ontario’s privacy commissioner. It also said it was working with Nuance Communications.

Nuance Communications did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

 

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Benefits By Design (BBD) Inc. partners with PocketPills to provide digital pharmacy services to CDN businesses

SURREY, BCOct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – PocketPills, Canada’s leading digital pharmacy, today announced their partnership with Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., to provide cost-effective benefit plans to its members by leveraging PocketPills digital pharmacy platform. Through the partnership, members filling their prescriptions at PocketPills will get higher coverage and their copay will be lower than going to a traditional pharmacy.

“We’re thrilled to bring convenience and affordable medication to Canadians across the country with BBD,” said Harj Samra, COO of PocketPills. “The devastating impact of COVID-19 has demonstrated a great need for safe and affordable access to medication. PocketPills has never been prouder to provide free doorstep delivery of medication and virtual access to pharmacists throughout all of Canada.”

Through digital collaboration between both partners, members are able to share their medication and insurance information with PocketPills for a seamless experience. BBD members can then instantly connect with pharmacists and manage their medications online. In addition to free medication delivery Canada wide, PocketPills sorts members’ medications by dose into easy-to-open PocketPacks. Each PocketPack includes the date and time, making it easier to take medications as prescribed. Automation technology improves the pharmacy workflow, making pharmacists more accessible to patients via phone or live chat, 7 days a week.

“After receiving positive feedback from our staff on their use of PocketPills, we are excited to bring that same experience to our customers,” said Mike McClenahan, Managing Partner at BBD. “PocketPills provides plan members with a unique combination of convenience and prescription medication management at an extremely affordable price. Their digital service is especially valuable during a time like COVID-19, allowing for the ordering and delivery of prescriptions to the plan member’s home.”

About PocketPills:
PocketPills is Canada’s first digital pharmacy, using state of the art technology to save time and provide convenience to the patients, allowing them to fill prescriptions online and get their medications delivered for free. Established in 2018 by two pharmacists and an engineer, PocketPills was formed with the vision that medication should be managed in a simplified, safer and more cost-effective way. A low $7 dispensing fee and free delivery make medications affordable, and the PocketPacks system and app help patients manage their medications and take them on time as prescribed.
For more information, please visit  www.pocketpills.com

About BBD:
Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. is a proud Canadian success story. Established in 1996, we are on a mission to help working Canadians promote and protect their health, wealth, and happiness by delivering employee benefits by design.

Follow us on social media @bbdcanada, or visit www.bbd.ca for more information.

SOURCE PocketPills

For further information: Media Contact: Nik De Sequera, media@pocketpills.com

Related Links

www.pocketpills.com

CRA to withhold tax from new Covid-19 benefits

Unlike the CERB, new benefits will be subject to 10% tax at source

The excerpted article was written By Rudy Mezzetta

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will withhold 10% tax at source from amounts distributed through three new Covid-19 recovery benefits announced by the federal government in September.

Amounts received through the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) are taxable, meaning they must be included in income for the year when recipients file their tax returns.

“The 10% tax withheld at source may not be all the tax you need to pay,” indicates the CRA in its guidance for the three programs. “When you complete your personal income tax return, you may need to pay more (or less), depending on how much income you earned.”

Applications for the caregiving and sickness benefits open today, while applications for the CRB begin Oct. 12.

The three new programs were introduced to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which came to an end last month. Amounts received through CERB are taxable, but the CRA did not withhold tax at source for the program.

The government’s decision to withhold tax from the new benefits makes sense, says Jamie Golombek, managing director, tax and estate planning with CIBC Private Wealth Management in Toronto.

“This is consistent with most employment income, which these benefits are supposed to replace, wherein tax is paid when funds are paid to recipients,” he said.

The CRB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by Covid-19, but are not entitled to employment insurance benefits. Canadians eligible for the CRB can receive $1,000 — $900 after tax withheld — for a two-week period. Canadians can apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods, or 26 weeks, between Sept. 27, 2020 and Sept. 25, 2021.

Canadians who receive CRB may also earn employment or self-employment income while doing so, but will have to reimburse $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar of net income above $38,000 earned in the calendar year.

The CRSB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick or need to self-isolate due to Covid-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting Covid-19. Canadians eligible for the CRSB can receive $500 ($450 after tax withheld) for a one-week period. Canadians may apply up to a total of two weeks between Sept. 27, 2020 and Sept. 25, 2021.

The CRCB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. If a Canadian is eligible for the CRCB, their household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each one-week period. Canadians may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between Sept. 27, 2020 and Sept. 25, 2021.

Source: advisor’s edge

Novacap Acquires Interest In AGA Financial Group

MONTREALOct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – Novacap, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms, announced that it acquired an interest in AGA Financial Group Inc. (“AGA”), one of Quebec’s leading employee benefits advisory firms and third-party administrators of group insurance and retirement plans.

AGA helps businesses across Canada develop and administer tailor-made group insurance plans. AGA was founded in 1978 and has been owned and operated since 2013 by veteran insurance executives Martin Papillon, Chantal Dufresne and Gabriel Gagnon. AGA serves more than 1,200 clients across the spectrum from small and medium-sized businesses to those with national footprints. It employs more than 100 professionals, including a team of actuaries and a network of external brokers, with offices in Montreal and Quebec City.

“AGA has built a first-class franchise that combines passionate experts with a culture of innovation,” said Marcel Larochelle, Managing Partner, Financial Services, at Novacap. “This is a unique attribute in any business, and it is what fascinated us from the very beginning of our conversations. It speaks to the strength of the Novacap platform that we have been able to attract such a renowned group of partners in Martin, Chantal, and Gabriel.”

AGA is the third investment of the Novacap Financial Services I fund since its first closing in November 2019. Novacap is the first private equity firm in Canada to launch a fund dedicated to investing in financial services businesses.

“Novacap is excited to assist AGA with our deep operational expertise, our experience in executing mergers and acquisitions and in developing new markets across Canada and beyond,” added Rajiv Bahl, Senior Partner, Financial Services, at Novacap. “We look forward to working with the management team to power AGA’s continued growth.”

“Partnering with Novacap is a privilege for my partners and all AGA employees, as we all have exactly the same ambitious vision for the future of the company,” said Martin Papillon, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGA. “Our mission is to facilitate access to group insurance and pension plans, and to streamline their administration for our customers. This pledge is reflected not only in exceptional service, but also strategic advice that allows us to provide more in terms of solutions, products and services. With Novacap as our partner, these capabilities will only be enhanced.”

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal advisor to Novacap.

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP acted as legal advisor to AGA.

About Novacap
Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with CA$3.6 billion of assets under management. Its distinct investment approach, based on deep operational expertise and an active partnership with entrepreneurs, has helped accelerate growth and create long-term value for its numerous portfolio companies. With an experienced management team and substantial financial resources, Novacap is well positioned to continue building world-class businesses. Backed by leading global institutional investors, Novacap’s deals typically include leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, add-on acquisitions, IPOs, and privatizations. Over the last 39 years, Novacap has invested in more than 90 companies and completed more than 140 add-on acquisitions. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca.

About AGA Financial Group Inc.
Since its inception in 1978, AGA has helped clients across Canada develop and administer tailor-made group insurance plans. AGA is also one of Quebec’s leading third-party administrators and third-party payers (TPA / TPP) of group insurance and retirement plans. Its clients include over 1,200 small, medium and large businesses, as well as financial security and group insurance consultants wishing to make a group insurance plan available to their clients. AGA has a Quebec-wide distribution network and more than 100 employees across its offices in Montreal and Quebec City.

SOURCE Novacap Management Inc.

Related Links

http://www.novacap.ca

 

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