NC Department of Health exposes 12k patients' information in email

An employee of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent more than 12,000 patients' information to healthcare providers via an unencrypted email, according to The News & Observer.

On Nov. 30, a NCDHHS employee sent an email that contained 12,731 Medicaid patients' information. The information included patients' first initial, last name, Medicaid identification number and the name and address of the home where each patient resides, according to a NCDHHS statement sent to Becker's Hospital Review.

NCDHHS notified HHS' Office for Civil Rights and sent letters to affected patients and their guardians. After the incident, the department started using Medicaid identification numbers that don't reflect patients' personal health information.

"While DHHS cannot determine for certain that the email was not intercepted during transmission over the open internet, DHHS has no reason to believe the information was compromised in any way," NCDHHS said in a statement.

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