Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Lawsuit filed against Xerox

August 17th, 2014

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently filed a lawsuit against Xerox. The action was taken because Xerox hold back patient documents while working as a state’s former primary Medicaid claims administrator. Xerox motioned for a protection order, arguing that it needed the records for its defense.

“There is a legal process for the company to get any records it needs for the lawsuit, but instead Xerox has chosen to put information of Medicaid clients at risk and force the state to take court action to protect those records,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek.

HHSC recently terminated the Xerox contract. HHSC said documents included client names, photographs, birth dates and medical and billing records. Texas had previously requested that Xerox turn over the Medicaid patient documents. HHSC also has concern over storage or security of the data, other than what the company has admitted in court.

“Xerox has admitted that it has the information and it’s being stored by its lawyers and at least one other company,” Janek said. “They have refused to tell us exactly what information they have, who has access to the information and what’s being done to protect it. We don’t know anything about the security of the servers now housing the information, staff training, background checks, nothing.”

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Texas nonprofit advocacy group notifies PHI breach of 2,934

April 13th, 2014

An Austin, Texas nonprofit advocacy group for children with developmental disabilities, EveryChild, Inc. has informed 2,934 families about the potential data breach. EveryChild learnt about the breach when internal computer was found stolen from its office. EveryChild, Inc. is a non-profit with a contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to help adults under age 22 and children with disabilities get services in a family setting rather than an institution.

Computer contained PHI information which included patients’ birth dates, Social Security numbers, Medicaid numbers, photos and other health information. EveryChild has also alerted Texas Health and Human Services Commission about lost computer and possible data breach.

EveryChild believes till date that data present on the computer was not misused. Information is not available whether the patients only from Austin suffered data breach or there are patients from San Antonio as well. Also information regarding safe guarding methods on the computer was not available. Thus it was not clear whether computer was password protected or encrypted.

Excerpts of Website statement –

Upon discovery of the theft, we immediately notified law enforcement and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. We are cooperating with investigations and attempts to recover the computers. We are also improving the security of confidential information through security alarms, enhanced technology, and policy and procedure changes.

 

If you were personally affected by this theft and we have your current address, you will be receiving a letter informing you about the credit monitoring protection. If you believe you may have been affected and do not receive a letter, you may contact our toll free number.

 

We take the protection of private information seriously and sincerely regret that this crime put information at risk. We will continue work to put stronger controls in place to better protect private information in the future.

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