No. This is not yet another data breach in the healthcare sector. What it appears to be is a surprisingly late notification in a previously known breach, though.
WLKY reports that the personal information of potentially more than 10,000 Louisville metro workers who have Concentra health insurance may have been impacted by the Medical Informatics Engineering breach.
On June 10, Medical Informatics Engineering had posted a notice disclosing the breach. That notice indicated that they had begun notifying affected clients on June 2 of the breach, which began on May 7 and was first detected on May 26. The breach affected some of their clients’ patients:
On behalf of itself and its affected clients, Medical Informatics Engineering is writing to provide notice of a data security compromise that has affected the security of some protected health information relating to certain patients affiliated with certain Medical Informatics Engineering clients. We emphasize that the patients of only certain clients of Medical Informatics Engineering were affected by this compromise and those clients have all been notified. Clients include: Concentra, Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Franciscan St. Francis Health Indianapolis, Gynecology Center, Inc. Fort Wayne, RediMed, and Rochester Medical Group.
Separate notice was provided for clients of its subsidiary, NoMoreClipboard, who were also affected. Notice had reportedly gone out to affected clients on June 2.
So why are we reading that “Letters are going out to those affected” if Louisville had been notified by Medical Informatics Engineering the first week in June? Why has it taken the city so long to alert its employees? (see update below– Dissent)
Given that the breach involved a hack of identity information, including Social Security numbers, this delay in notification is concerning.
So far, the Medical Informatics Engineering breach does not appear on HHS’s public breach tool – at least not under their name or the names of any of their known-to-be-affected clients – so we do not know how many patients, total, have been impacted by this breach.
Update of July 24: Today, the firm issued an update that includes an update on their notification process:
On June 2, 2015, we began contacting and mailing notice letters disclosing this incident to affected NoMoreClipboard and Medical Informatics Engineering clients.
On July 17, 2015, we began mailing notice letters to affected individuals for whom we have a valid postal address through U.S. mail, and we expect those letters to be mailed on or before July 25, 2015. Information contained in the notice letter is available at www.mieweb.com and www.NoMoreClipboard.com. We have also disclosed this incident to certain state and federal regulators and to the consumer reporting agencies.
So it appears the city of Louisville is not late in notifying and the letters are in the mail from the vendor to those affected.