Archive for August, 2014

Onsite Health Diagnostics suffers data breach

August 4th, 2014

Onsite Health Diagnostics (OHD), a Tennessee government subcontractor, suffered data breach when its scheduler was accessed inappropriately. OHD has notified the affected local government employees about the breach. According to the reports, online scheduler was accessed by unknown entity.

Around 60,582 employees’ data, such as name, date of birth, address, email address, phone number and gender was accessed. Information related to financial information, Social Security numbers or medical data was not included in the breach.

According to the OHD statements:

OHD and investigating authorities are unaware of any identity theft related to this incident, but out of an abundance of caution, OHD has mailed letters to the affected health plan members to ensure that they are aware of the incident and can take steps to protect their information. OHD will provide one free year of identity theft protection to affected group health plan members.

While this information did not contain any diagnosis or medical information, the state has determined that, because it is related to our members’ health benefits, the disclosure of name, address, email address, phone number and gender does fall under the HIPAA definition of a breach of protected health information. The state has notified the Secretary of HHS of a Breach of Unsecured PHI.

After the breach, OHD has collaborated with experts to determine the flaws in the system. It was also observed that OHD had implemented new procedures and systems for more secure operations.

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CD containing sensitive information goes missing

August 2nd, 2014

Jersey City Medical Center recently notified a Medicaid patient data breach that occurred as United Parcel Service (UPS) failed to deliver an unencrypted CD with patient data on it. The CD contained unknown number of Medicaid patients’ names and some Social Security numbers.

For some patients information like date of birth, medical record number, gender, and information on visits to the Medical Center: admission and discharge dates, inpatient or outpatient status, number of days care was received, dollar amount of Medical Center charges incurred for care, name of health insurance payer(s), amounts paid by patient or insurers, and/or general type of claim and/or revenue code was present on the CD.

CD was supposed to be couriered at Jersey City Medical Center. The location of the CD remains mystery as no one knows where it is currently. According to the reports, Barnabas Health system will be offering one year credit monitoring.

“While UPS has no evidence that personal information has been made available to any unauthorized parties, or misused in any way, patients are being advised to be aware of any suspicious activity and to monitor their credit reports and financial accounts.” The notification letter, signed by Shani Newell, Privacy Officer says.

Facts related to this incident are –

  • There was a breakdown in protocols to locate and find lost packages.
  • Medical Center reviewed its incident prevention technology to avoid future instances of breaches.
  • Medical Center will attempt to encrypt patient data henceforth
  • Medical Center has since changed its policies to no longer send unencrypted CDs with patient information

“We have followed up extensively with UPS regarding this incident, attempting to ensure that UPS has followed all of its internal procedures designed to locate missing packages.”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.