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Medicaid insurer loses data on 950k beneficiaries

January 26, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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Centene Corp, a St. Louis-based Medicaid health plan manager, has apparently lost track of six hard drives containing personal information on about 950,000 beneficiaries, the company announced Monday. The company has launched an internal investigation to locate the drives, which the company couldn’t account for on an IT inventory.

The drives contained member IDs and payment information for Medicaid beneficiaries who had received certain laboratory services. No evidence of data misuse has been reported to date, and the company has not called the incident a theft.

“While we don't believe this information has been used inappropriately, out of abundance of caution and in transparency, we are disclosing an ongoing search for the hard drives,” said President and CEO Michael Neidorff in the corporate announcement. “The drives were a part of a data project using laboratory results to improve the health outcomes of our members."

Centene is offering free credit monitoring for those affected.




Yet another proof that risk management is essential to the healthcare industry. Sensitive and vulnerable patient data constantly flows between EHRs, RCMs, LIS, RIS, other systems and beyond them – travelling to payers. To have the in-depth understanding of processes, keep a strong grip on information and control its flow, caregivers need to enable data analysis tools as well as implement security intelligence techniques.
As soon as providers establish secure and transparent data flow, hopefully, we will reduce breaches, hacker attacks and information exposures to a minimum.