Quick Hits

Personal Data Of 280,000 At Risk Following Healthcare Breach

Portable drive containing data on nearly 300,000 Medicaid patients in Pennsylvania is missing
The personal data of nearly 300,000 Medicaid members is at risk following the loss of a storage device that contains their information, two healthcare providers said last week.

According to a news report, Keystone Mercy Health Plan and AmeriHealth Mercy Health Plan have reported the loss of a portable computer drive containing the names, addresses, and health information of 280,000 Medicaid members in Pennsylvania.

The affiliated companies together insure 400,000 people on medical assistance in Pennsylvania.

The companies said the portable computer hard drive, used at community health fairs, was lost within the companies' corporate offices, according to the news report. Keystone's headquarters is in Southwest Philadelphia, and AmeriHealth Mercy's is in Harrisburg.

The computer drive included members' health plan identification numbers and some of their health information, the insurers said.

Also stored on the drive were the last four digits of 801 members' Social Security numbers, plus complete Social Security numbers for seven others, according to the news report.

"We deeply regret this unfortunate incident," said the affiliates' president, Jay Feldstein, in a statement released by the insurers. "We take our responsibilities for safeguarding personal health information very seriously. We have taken immediate steps to strengthen our operational protections to ensure this doesn't happen again."

The insurers did not say when and where the incident took place, whether any complaints have been received, or which regulatory agencies have been notified.

The insurers said they have beefed up security practices and will provide free credit-monitoring assistance to the people whose Social Security numbers, either in whole or in part, were on the missing hard drive.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Editors' Choice
Evan Schuman, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Tara Seals, Managing Editor, News, Dark Reading
Jeffrey Schwartz, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading