Mississippi State Department of Health had information breach

Published 9:25 pm Monday, March 26, 2018

On Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health sent letters to Mississippi residents notifying that protected health information such as name, date of birth, social security number or lab results was accidentally released to J Michael Consulting, a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This could have resulted in an unauthorized disclosure since the information was not meant to be shared.

On Jan. 30, MSDH became aware that an employee unknowingly emailed an Excel spreadsheet containing patients’ protected health information. This information was sent Jan. 25. Each person who mistakenly received the spreadsheet said they deleted all traces of the email from their inbox and did not share the email or what was in it. It is unlikely that the personal information was viewed by anyone.

However, because this email was sent unprotected, there is a possibility that it was seen by someone who could misuse it. MSDH has taken steps to increase security and lessen any harm that could be caused to any individual patient.

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Due to insufficient contact information, some clients whose information was included in the spreadsheet may not have received a notification letter. If a client was treated at the MSDH or any of its clinics in 2017 and is concerned about possible unauthorized disclosure of information, they may contact Nicole Litton or Christin Williams at 601-576-7874 or 866-458-4948.

The MSDH recommends contacting the three major credit reporting agencies to check your financial information: Equifax 800-525-6285, Experian 888-397-3742 and TransUnion 800-680-7289.