Data Breach of Centene Places 150,000 Georgians At Risk

Channel 11Alive of Atlanta recently reported that a data breach of the health insurer Centene Corporation has put the personal data of 150,000 Georgians at risk.

Centene is the parent company of the Peach State Health plan that covers the 380,000 Medicare and PeachCare patients.

The data breach occurred when Centene lost six computer hard drives that contain highly personal information,
including social security numbers, birth dates, and member ID numbers. State officials are notifying the customers affected and will offer free credit monitoring.

You can watch 11Alive’s report on the story here.

The Athens Banner-Herald stated online that the hard drives contain the personal information of about 950,000 individuals throughout the country. Michael Neidorff, the CEO of Centene, said that the drives lost were being used in a data project that sought to use lab test results to improve members’ health outcomes.

Neidorff released this statement last week when Centene first announced the search for the hard drives:

“While we don’t believe this information has been used inappropriately, out of abundance of caution and in transparency, we are disclosing an ongoing search for the hard drives.”

Centene, based in St. Louis, has more than 4.8 million members in 23 states.

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Nathan
Nathan

The scary part is that it seems like accidental exposure of sensitive data no longer seems to be a rare occurrence. Most of the time it’s due to human error (sometimes it’s due to backups being sent off-site to a secure facility and a package is lost or accidentally placing the disks in the wrong bin). And with the amount of data that’s generated by processes and stored for data mining to increase over 700 to 800% over the next few years, IT professionals have to be vigilant in order to make sure our customer data is secure. I think… Read more »

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

The good news is a lot of folks will get free credit monitoring for a year, voter registrations will climb in Georgia and early tax returns will skyrocket. The Achilles heel of fraud is government benefits. The credit card folks are about too clever to mess with.