WellPoint loses patient care data

It was a near miss this past week for a unit of WellPoint, one of the largest insurers in the United States. Early last week, WellPoint's Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it had lost medical and personal data on 75,000 members. The data had been lost when an unencrypted CD was sent to mental health benefits manager Magellan Behavioral Services by Health Data Management Solutions, and lost in transit somehow. As part of its public mea culpa, Empire had announced that it would offer the standard 12 months of credit monitoring to the 75,000 members. Luckily for Empire and WellPoint, however, Magellan located the CD within 48 hours. Nonetheless, Empire will now require Magellan to transmit personal health information only over a secure network.

To learn more about the data loss:
- read this New York Times piece
- see the Empire BCBS press release announcing that the disk had been found