Texas Health and Human Services notified 1,696 of laptop stolen from car

And yet again.

Hmmm. I seem to have missed this September 9th notice from Texas Health and Human Services:

AUSTIN – The state is notifying almost 1,700 people that a stolen laptop may have contained their names, birthdates and some health information. All the affected individuals will be provided with free credit monitoring services although there is no evidence that the information has been misused.

The laptop was stolen from the car of a nurse with the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The information was used to help conduct reviews of hospitals and nursing facilities that accept Medicaid. It included the names of 1,696 people, their birthdates, gender, Medicaid client identification numbers and procedure and diagnosis codes.  The data ­did not include Social Security numbers.

The theft took place in March and was reported to local law enforcement and state staff. However, it was believed that the information on the laptop was encrypted and therefore protected from possible misuse. During a review of the incident, agency officials discovered in late August that encryption software was not active on the laptop. The agency then began the process of recreating the information on the stolen computer so it could notify the individuals whose information may have been released without their consent.

Anyone whose personal information may have been on the stolen laptop will receive a letter from the state notifying them of the incident and instructions to sign up for credit monitoring and identity theft services. The state will provide the services to affected individuals for a year.

The agency also is reviewing its laptop inventory to make sure all agency equipment is properly encrypted.

According to the state’s report to HHS, the theft occurred on March 10.

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