NC health department exposed patient information in email

Lynn Bonner reports:

The state Department of Health and Human Services sent private patient information to adult care homes by unencrypted email last year.

The security lapse involved 12,731 Medicaid patients living in adult care homes. On Nov. 30, an employee sent an unencrypted email that included patient names, Medicaid numbers, and the homes where the patients resided. The department notified the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, and sent letters to patients and their guardians, DHHS said in a statement.

After the lapse, DHHS changed its procedures, using identification numbers in place of names and Medicaid numbers, a department spokeswoman said.

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