The Utah Department of Health is notifying more than 6,000 Medicaid beneficiaries of a breach of protected health information that recently occurred, only 10 months after hackers stole sensitive data on 780,000 recipients, including 280,000 Social Security numbers. Further, Utah’s state insurance exchange was hacked with a graffiti attack in November 2012.
The previous breaches occurred because of security lapses at the Utah Department of Technology Services. The new breach, confirmed on Jan. 15, happened when a contractor’s employee lost a flash drive that contained beneficiary names, ages, recent prescription drug histories and Medication identification numbers.
The employee, who worked for Medicaid pharmacy transactions processor Goold Health Systems, was having trouble uploading data to a server, so she saved the data to the flash drive, then lost the stick in transit, Goold CEO Jim Clair told the Salt Lake Tribune. The employee has been terminated, although Clair said she was “a terrific employee who made a mistake.”
The Utah Department of Health is offering affected beneficiaries identity theft protection services and will monitor affected Medicaid identification numbers for suspicious activity, according to a public notice.
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