Medicaid payor could have exposed data on nearly 70K patients
CalOptima, a Medicaid managed care plan serving Orange County, Calif., has identified the potential loss of past medical claims information for approximately 68,000 of its members that was stored on electronic media devices.

Claims information contained on the devices includes member names, home addresses, dates of birth, medical procedure codes, diagnosis codes and member identification numbers, including some Social Security numbers, according to the payor. The devices contained copies of historical processed claims information.

The Orange, Calif.-based CalOptima said its claims scanning vendor sent the electronic media devices to CalOptima through the U.S. Postal service by certified mail. On Oct. 13, CalOptima discovered the apparent loss of the devices when the external packaging materials were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service without the box containing the devices. The Medicaid payor initiated an investigation to determine the location of the devices, including the possibility that the separated box containing the devices may have been forwarded by the U.S. Post Office to another U.S. Post Office facility.

On Oct. 14, CalOptima said it notified state and federal agencies of the potential loss of the devices, and on the following day, posted an alert for public notification on its Web site when it became evident the devices might not be located.

The payor said it identified the affected members and is preparing to send them notice letters.