Lost, unencrypted USB thumb drive impacts more than 50k Medicaid providers

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A government contractor in charge of building North Carolina's Medicaid billing system lost a USB thumb drive containing the personal information of thousands of Medicaid providers nationwide.

How many victims? 1,182 North Carolina providers were affected, but the personal information of more than 50,000 providers nationwide was compromised.

What type of personal information? Provider data included full names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth. No patient information was included.

What happened? A USB thumb drive containing the sensitive data belonging to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was lost by an employee of Falls Church, Va.-based CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) while it was being delivered between facilities.

What was the response? CSC was told by the state department to perform an outside review of its security. The company said that affected providers would be notified this week.

Details: According to a CSC spokesperson, the employee who misplaced the thumb drive worked on the new Medicaid billing system and is currently on administrative leave. An investigation is currently taking place into the matter. CSC has set up a dedicated hotline where providers can reach out with any inquiries.

Quote: “I have instructed CSC that North Carolina expects an independent third-party assessment to assure CSC's adherence to required security standards,” Aldona Wos, DHHS secretary, said in a statement.

Source: www.wral.com, WRAL TV, Medicaid contractor loses provider's personal information,” March 8, 2013.

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