Thousands of Social Security numbers compromised in California data breach

Add two more data breaches to the long list afflicting healthcare.

The state of California mistakenly posted online the Social Security numbers for nearly 14,000 Medi-Cal providers who work for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). The providers are spread across 25 counties, according to Sacramento TV station KCRA. 

The information was posted for nine days before the mistake was discovered and the numbers removed.

It's the second security breach involving IHSS workers this year. In May, the California Department of Social Services notified more than 700,000 workers that their personal information might be vulnerable to theft after a package containing payroll data went missing in the mail.

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, a laptop belonging to ABQ Health Partners, the state's largest independent doctor's group, is missing. The laptop contained the names, date of birth, health plan ID number and diagnosis information for 238 patients, though the organization said there were no Social Security numbers, addresses or access to patient records through the laptop, TV station KOB reported.

Problems with data security continue to dog the healthcare industry. Data breaches cost healthcare $7 billion a year, according to a recent report from the Ponemon Institute. In that study, 94 percent of the 80 participating healthcare organizations experienced at least one data breach that they were aware of in the past two years.

To learn more:
- read the KCRA report
- here's KOB's story


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