North Carolina DHHS reports breach after sending email with unencrypted data

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is notifying 1,615 individuals that their protected health information may have been compromised following an email error, according to WRAL.

A DHHS employee sent an email containing personal information of Medicaid recipients to the Granville County Health Department without first encrypting the email, according to the report. Information in the email included names, Medicaid identification number, provider name, provider ID number and other information related to Medicaid services. Just two Social Security numbers were exposed, as two individuals use them as their Medicaid ID numbers, according to DHHS spokeswoman Kendra Gerlach.

The breach occurred Aug. 19, and DHHS officials started informing affected individuals in mid-October. 

At this time, officials have no reason to believe the information in the email was intercepted or viewed by anyone other than the intended recipient. 

More articles on data breaches:

Majority of Americans underestimate the threat of stolen medical data 
3 physicians face charges, HIPAA violation for using EHR to 'steal patients' 
Data breach from stolen University of Oklahoma laptop affects 9,000 patients 

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