The federal government's official database of major health information breaches confirms that a Health Net incident affecting 1.9 million individuals is the largest breach on record.
In March, health care services provider Health Net announced that it was conducting an investigation into the loss of several server drives from its IBM data center located in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The incident marked the second time Health Net had reported a major health information breach stemming from a missing drive.
The California Department of Managed Health Care opened an investigation of the incident, saying those affected by the breach included more than 622,000 enrollees in Health Net products regulated by the department, more than 223,000 enrolled in California Department of Insurance products and others enrolled in Medicare.
After a forensic analysis, Health Net said it had determined that personal information of some former and current Health Net members, employees and health care providers was on the drives. The information also included names, addresses, health information, Social Security numbers and financial information.
The Office for Civil Rights' list of major breaches now totals 256 incidents affecting 10.2 million individuals. The list tracks incidents affecting 500 or more individuals that have occurred since September 2009, when the HITECH Act breach notification rule took effect.
For more information, see the May 2011 issue of Guide to Medical Privacy & HIPAA.