Mailing Error Causes Breach

TennCare offers enrollees credit monitoring
Mailing Error Causes Breach
TennCare, Tennessee's Medicaid program, recently sent letters with personal information on about 3,900 enrollees to the wrong addresses, state officials confirmed.

Included in the mailings were name, date of birth and Social Security number. The error was the result of a modification to the system that pulls addresses into an electronic file for TennCare. An error caused by the system modification corrupted the file, TennCare officials said.

"Fortunately, we noticed the problem early and stopped additional mailings," said TennCare Director Darin Gordon. "We worked closely with other state agencies to correct the information in the system, investigate how the error occurred and determine how many enrollees were affected. We also have put in place protocols to help ensure an error doesn't occur again."

Future file transfers, for example, will undergo "more intense analysis and testing" to ensure that accurate data is sent, officials said.

So far, there is no evidence that the information has been misused, according to the Medicaid program. TennCare, however, is providing all affected enrollees one year of free identity theft safeguards from Kroll Inc., including credit monitoring, identity theft consultation and restoration services.

TennCare is mailing notices to those affected and has a dedicated call center to field questions. It's urging those who received the mailings in error to leave the letter or card in its unopened envelope and write "return to sender" on it and drop it in the mail.

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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