Risk Assessments/Management, Data Security, Breach, Security Architecture, Endpoint/Device Security, Endpoint/Device Security, Endpoint/Device Security, Endpoint/Device Security, Endpoint/Device Security

Laptop theft puts thousands of N.M. Medicaid users at risk

UPDATE: The stolen laptop also contained the personal information of more than 10,000 Tennessee residents enrolled in TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid managed care program, and CoverKids, a program that provides free health coverage for uninsured Tennessee children. Of the affected Tennessee residents, 12 were CoverKids members and the rest were TennCare members. DentaQuest plans to send notification letters to affected Tennessee residents next week. Those affected will be offered one year of free ID theft prevention services.

An unencrypted laptop containing the personal information of thousands of New Mexico citizens enrolled in the state's Medicaid Salud plan was stolen in late March.

How many victims? 9,500

What type of personal information? Names, health plan identification numbers and provider identification numbers. In some cases, health plan identification numbers were the same an individual's Social Security number.

What happened? The laptop was in the trunk of a vehicle that was stolen on March 20 in Chicago. The vehicle belonged to an employee of a subcontractor to DentaQuest, the company that processes claims and provides dental benefits for the New Mexico's Medicaid program.

Details: The computer was password protected but did not have any other safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the information.

Quote: “At this time, the stolen car and laptop have not been recovered, and it is not known whether the information on the laptop has been accessed,” the New Mexico Human Services Department said in a statement

What was the response? The state agency has informed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is working to notify affected individuals. In addition, the agency launched an investigation into the breach. 

Source: https://newmexicoindependent.com, The New Mexico Independent, “Stolen laptop puts thousands of New Mexicans at risk for ID theft,” May 11, 2010.

Update Source: www.wsmv.com, WSMV 4 News, “Stolen Computer Contains Private TennCare Info,” June 11, 2010.

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