Hapless Health Insurer Loses Six Hard Drives Containing Nearly 1 Million Patient Records
Centene discovered it was six hard drives short when auditing the inventory of its information technology assets in preparation for a data project. No small thing, the HDDs contain sensitive information of around 950,000 patients, including names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, member ID numbers, and health information.
"Centene takes the privacy and security of our members' information seriously," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "While we don't believe this information has been used inappropriately, out of abundance of caution and in transparency, we are disclosing an ongoing search for the hard drives. The drives were a part of a data project using laboratory results to improve the health outcomes of our members."
On the bright side, the healthcare provider said that no financial or payment information was contained on the missing drives, so at least affected individuals don't have to worry about fraudulent charges appearing as a result of the mishap. Nevertheless, Centene is offering affected individuals free credit and healthcare monitoring.