Potential data breach could affect 950,000

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Health insurer Centene Corp. has announced a potential data breach that could affect 950,000 people, including some of your residents.

The company announced Jan. 25 that an inventory of its information technology assets revealed that six computer hard drives are missing. The hard drives contain the personal health information of people who received laboratory services from 2009 to 2015, including names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, member identification numbers and health information. The hard drives were being used in a project designed to improve member health outcomes.

Centene provides programs and services to those who receive healthcare benefits through Medicaid; aged, blind or disabled programs; and long-term care programs sponsored by the government, in addition to programs for those who receive benefits through other state-sponsored/hybrid programs and Medicare.

“Centene takes the privacy and security of our members' information seriously,” Michael F. Neidorff, chairman, president and CEO of Centene, said in a statement. “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 said that it will notify and offe rfree credit and healthcare monitoring for all those who are affected. The company also is reviewing its procedures related to managing its IT assets.

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