More than five weeks after disclosing a breach of protected health information involving 4.9 million patients but declining to offer credit protection services, TRICARE has reversed course.

The insurer for the military health system has announced that subcontractor Science Applications International Corp. will provide, upon request, a year of credit monitoring and restoration services.

SAIC on Sept. 14 reported to TRICARE the loss of back-up tapes that contained names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions. TRICARE disclosed the breach on Sept. 29 and encouraged affected patients to visit a Federal Trade Commission Web site to place a free alert on their credit, but did not offer paid protection services, citing a low risk of harm that the data would be accessed.

A TRICARE spokesperson at the time said that further investigation would determine whether additional safeguards were necessary, adding that SAIC would pay if credit and fraud protection services were offered.


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