New West Health Services reports stolen laptop, 25,000 records potentially breached

New West Health Services, a health plan doing business as New West Medicare, has reported a data breach after learning an off-site computer containing personal health information from New West customers was stolen.

The laptop was stolen Nov. 18 from an off-site location. It was password protected, and the company has no reason to believe information stored on the laptop has been accessed or misused. 

The laptop contained customers' names and addresses, and some driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers and Medicare claim numbers. Information regarding Medicare premiums, electronic funds transfer information and credit card information may be stored on the laptop. Additionally, some consumers' health information including birth date, medical history and condition, diagnosis and prescription information may also be breached.

HIPAA Journal reports more than 25,000 plan members' information was on the laptop. It also reports the laptop was password protected but not encrypted.

New West Medicare is a nonprofit, provider-sponsored health plan based in Helena, Mont. The company launched an internal investigation and notified law enforcement upon learning the laptop was stolen.

More articles on data breaches:

Why healthcare may see more HIPAA fines in the coming year 
Boston Medical Center could face lawsuit for patient data breach 
ProPublica launches HIPAA Helper database to search breaches by providers 

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