Mail Formatting Error Affects 175,000

Mishap Involves Drug Benefits Companies
Mail Formatting Error Affects 175,000
A health information breach incident involving two drug benefits companies illustrates that even a formatting error in a mailed letter can lead to security troubles.

RxAmerica and Accendo Insurance Co. are offering about 175,000 individuals free credit monitoring and fraud and identity theft counseling for a year as a result of the mailing mishap.

The companies, which provide drug benefits to those eligible for Medicare Part D, say that recent "transition fill letters" to physicians, while sent to the right addresses, included a formatting error that shifted the text, allowing some lines to be visible through the envelope window. That information included the member's name and some combination of member ID number, drug name and date of birth.

"We have corrected the problem surrounding the letter in question," the companies report.

Accendo Insurance Co. is operated by RxAmerica, and both are subsidiaries of CVS Caremark.

The HITECH Act breach notification rule requires patients and federal authorities to be notified of breaches.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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