Access Health CT

Unencrypted email and data breach

March 24th, 2016

BJC Healthcare Accountable Care Organization (BCJ ACO) in the St. Louis area recently announced data breach when an unencrypted email was sent to a participating medical practice in the BCJ ACO.It mentioned that 2,393 patients were possibly affected by the data security breach.

As per the statement, an email was sent containing patient information without the necessary security encryption. Affected information includes patient names, gender, dates of birth, and Medicare beneficiary identification numbers.  Medical information was not sent via email.

“BJC ACO investigated the email transmission and has discovered no indication that anyone other than the intended and authorized recipient at the medical practice read or accessed the email. BJC ACO has taken steps to re-educate staff on the process for sending emails in a secure manner”, the statement confirmed.

According to the statement: BJC ACO has complied with all U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights notification requirements, including individual patient letters, public news release and website posting.


BJC HealthCare was the first provider in the St. Louis area and one of 89 U.S. health care providers selected in 2012 as an Accountable Care Organization by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS established ACOs that year to encourage groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers to coordinate health care services for Medicare patients and share in savings obtained through high-quality, well-coordinated care. BJC ACO currently coordinates care for approximately 40,000 patients in the BJC service area of metropolitan St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri.


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Connecticut based Access Health in the process of data breach notification

June 2nd, 2014

The Connecticut state health insurance exchange, Access Health CT suffered data breach after its vendor’s employee lost a backpack. According to the reports, bag contained notepad having information which includes 413 handwritten names, 151 Social Security numbers, and an undisclosed number of birthdates.

“While we are still working to understand exactly why this person took the information out of the building, based on what we have learned so far it does not appear there was malfeasance on the part of this person,” Jason Madrak, Access Health’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement Sunday.

Access Health has provided one year free credit monitoring and also understanding cause and prevention of such incidents. It is in the process of notifying the affected patients about the breach. Count for affected patient’s stands at 413 according to initial reports.

“The attorney general takes matters of privacy and data security seriously,” Jepsen spokesman Robert S. Blanchard said in a statement. “Consistent with our practice in past breaches by other custodians of personal information, we reached out on Friday to Access Health CT regarding the incident and its plans to protect those potentially affected. We expect those discussions to continue as we seek to ensure that Connecticut residents’ privacy and personal information is protected. In particular, the office is seeking to determine how this incident occurred, what security procedures and policies were in place before the incident, and what is being done to reduce the risk of future breaches occurring.”

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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.

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