Patients Affected by BCBS of Tennessee Data Breach Nearly Doubles

The number of patients affected by a 2009 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee data breach has nearly doubled from an estimated 521,761 in March to nearly 1 million, according to a report by American Medical News.

The breach was caused by the Oct. 2009 theft of an employee's computer, which contained encoded, but not encrypted, personal data and private health information on BCBS enrollees. BCBS increased the number of enrollees affected by the breach after reviewing back-up files for data on the computer and determining more members were impacted than originally thought, according to the report.

BCBS has informed the members of their risks, dividing them into three risk categories. Those in the highest risk group (238,589 members), had personal data on the computer that included their social security numbers.

There has been no evidence of identity theft or credit fraud to date resulting from the breach, and BCBS is offering credit monitoring to all those at risk, according to the report.

Read the American Medical News' report on the BCBS of Tennessee data breach.

Read the article by Marion Jenkins, PhD, "Massive Data Breach Offers Lessons for ASCs and Physicians."

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