Corporate Compliance

Military health plan breach affects 4.9 million

Compliance Monitor, October 5, 2011

TRICARE, a military health plan, has reported one of the largest breaches of patient data on record.

The health plan, which services active and retired military members and their families, reported a data breach that has affected 4.9 million military clinic and hospital patients. The breach was due to the loss of backup tapes containing electronic health records, according to a press release from the health plan.

The military health system used the backup tapes to capture patient data from 1992 through September 7 of this year.

Lost data may include:

• Social Security numbers
• Addresses and telephone numbers
• Personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions

The backup tapes did not include financial data, such as credit card and bank account information, TRICARE said in the press release. It also said that data retrieval requires knowledge of and access to specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure.

Read more at HIPAA Update.

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