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Access Health CT Investigating Possible Data Breach By Employee of Call Center Vendor

by Christine Stuart | Jun 8, 2014 7:25pm
(8) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Health Care, Law Enforcement, Hartford

Officials with Access Health CT say a call center representative has come forward after leaving a backpack Friday containing handwritten notes that included customers’ names and Social Security numbers on Trumbull Street in Hartford.

The four notepads in the backpack listed the names and birthdates of about 400 individuals. However, upon closer examination by Access Health CT officials, they said fewer than 200 of the individual entries in the handwritten notes included Social Security numbers.

Jason Madrak, chief marketing officer for Access Health CT, said the individual who works for their call center vendor, Maximus Health Services, turned himself in after hearing about the backpack on local television news Friday. Madrak did not identify the individual.

“As the investigation continues, this individual has been placed on administrative leave and has had all system access privileges revoked,” Madrak said in a statement. “While we are still working to understand exactly why this person took the information out of the building, based on what we have learned so far it does not appear there was malfeasance on the part of this person.”

Madrak said it’s not unusual for call center representatives to jot down notes while talking to customers in order to better serve them.

“However, it is expressly prohibited for this information to leave the call center office in any way, shape, or form,” Madrak said.

The backpack was found on Trumbull Street. Access Health CT has a call center on Trumbull Street near the corner of Church Street.

Access Health CT senior management will meet with senior Maximus representatives Monday to continue the investigation and determine whether any action is necessary to prevent another potential data breach.

In the meantime, Access Health CT is currently calling individuals whose names were handwritten on the paper note pads to inform them of the potential breach. Consumers will be offered credit monitoring, fraud resolution, identity theft insurance, and security freezes of credit reports.

Maximus Health Services was hired to manage the call center for Access Health CT. It’s unclear exactly how much the company is being paid for its services by the quasi-public exchange, because most of the pertinent information in the contract has been redacted.

Jeffrey Cohen of WNPR did a report in September detailing the extent of the redaction.

“Any language that has anything to do with how much Maximus is paid — both in the original contract as well as in its amendment — was blacked out,” Cohen reported.

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan told WNPR that the redactions were based on privacy and competitive issues.

Maximus, which won the contract in what Counihan described as a competitive bidding process, said in a press release last February that it would receive $15 million over three years from March 1, 2013, through August 31, 2016.

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(8) Comments

posted by: GBear423 | June 9, 2014  5:25am

GBear423

... and everyone is okay with this??
Call center Rep (who is not named? is he a minor?) writing down clients’ personal information in a notebook?? Are these people not typists? Can they not add notes on the computer? 

Should there not be a criminal investigation??

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 9, 2014  6:54am

Quasi public agency? Yep. Explains why there was not an immediate termination for removing this information from the premises regardless of this persons intent.

posted by: Ellen Andrews | June 9, 2014  7:31am

Why is this information ever on paper? Why isn’t this all automated? These are the same people who want us to trust them with our most sensitive medical records in the all-payer claims database (APCD, Access Health Analytics), without our permission or knowledge. The APCD will have info on HIV status, mental health care, and reproductive health among other things. What’s gong to show up in the next lost backpack?

posted by: Christine Stuart | June 9, 2014  8:59am

Christine Stuart

I probably should have said Hartford Police are investigating.

posted by: meridenite | June 9, 2014  10:01am

What’s the going price for ssn’s and bank info these days??

posted by: Bulldog1 | June 9, 2014  10:20am

Actually this function was privatized, being done by an outfit called Maximus.  An organization tossed out of Indiana by that noted Liberal Mitch Daniels for screwing up the state’s title 19 system.  They had a 1.5 billion dollar deal there to do the work so it must have been a real catastrophe. 

So it’s not quasi-public who did the deed but rather a vendor in the ever superior private sector.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 9, 2014  11:10am

If this kind of information is available on notepads in the first place I can guarantee two things and this applies to Maximus nationwide and not specifically CT

1) someone somewhere is taking pictures of this data with their phone

2) someone is getting these names and will be using this as a very targeted approach to voters to get them to try to get them to vote Dem

posted by: dano860 | June 9, 2014  3:40pm

We can’t delude or lull ourselves into thinking that this will be the last time something like this will happen again.
If it’s in a data base it’s susceptible to hacking and misuse.
That data base is a virtual gold mine to the right people.