United HealthCare Companies, Inc. Declares Information Breach | Console and Associates, P.C. – JDSupra – JD SupraAugust 18, 2022
On August 15, 2022, United HealthCare Companies, Inc. confirmed that the corporate skilled an information breach after submitting official paperwork with the Lawyer Normal of Texas. In line with United Healthcare, the breach resulted within the names, addresses, medical health insurance data and medical data being compromised. Whereas United Healthcare has not but despatched out knowledge breach letters to all affected events informing them of the incident, it’s doubtless that the corporate will start doing so within the close to future.
In case you obtained an information breach notification, it’s important you perceive what’s in danger and what you are able to do about it. To study extra about how you can shield your self from turning into a sufferer of fraud or id theft and what your authorized choices are within the wake of the United Healthcare knowledge breach, please see our latest piece on the subject right here.
The United Healthcare breach was solely very just lately reported. Subsequently, the small print concerning the breach are very sparse. As of the writing of this text, United Healthcare has not posted discover of the breach on its web site, nor has the corporate issued knowledge breach letters. Nevertheless, based mostly on the corporate’s official filings, the information safety incident concerned the names, addresses, medical health insurance data and medical data of affected people. Given the kind of knowledge leaked, it might be truthful to imagine that the breach impacted sufferers (somewhat than staff); nonetheless, this has not been confirmed by United Healthcare.
Based in 1974, United HealthCare Companies, Inc. is an insurance coverage firm based mostly in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The corporate affords a variety of medical health insurance merchandise, together with dental insurance coverage, supplemental medical health insurance, conventional medical health insurance, imaginative and prescient, short-term medical health insurance and employer medical health insurance plans. United HealthCare Companies, Inc. is an umbrella firm that operates many different native and regional corporations, together with Oxford Well being Plans LLC. UnitedHealthcare West Area: Well being plan protection supplied by UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, Inc., UHC of California DBA UnitedHealthcare of California, UnitedHealthcare Profit Plan of California, UnitedHealthcare of Colorado, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Oklahoma, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Oregon, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Texas, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Advantages of Texas, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Utah, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare of Washington, Inc. United Healthcare employs greater than 125,000 individuals and generates roughly $200 billion in annual income.
The United Healthcare knowledge breach affected a number of varieties of affected person knowledge, together with names, addresses, insurance coverage data and medical data. Whereas United Healthcare has not supplied many particulars concerning the incident resulting in the breach or what particular sort of “insurance coverage” and “medical” data was compromised, based mostly on the out there data, it seems that the breach might have leaked sufferers’ protected well being data.
The time period protected well being data (“PHI”) refers to any knowledge regarding a affected person’s previous or current well being situation or how a affected person pays for his or her healthcare. For instance, the outcomes of a affected person’s medical imaging check, a affected person’s medical historical past, or a affected person’s present checklist of prescription drugs might all be thought-about protected well being data. Nevertheless, healthcare-related knowledge is simply thought-about protected when it additionally comprises an “identifier” that permits somebody to match the information up with a particular affected person. For instance, frequent identifiers embrace sufferers’ names, e mail addresses, bodily addresses, images or Social Safety numbers.
As a result of the United Healthcare breach resulted in “insurance coverage data” and “medical data,” in addition to sufferers’ names and addresses, it’s doubtless that any leaked healthcare knowledge was certainly “protected healthcare data.”
However what’s the significance of the truth that protected healthcare knowledge might have been compromised? From a affected person’s perspective, because of this, ought to anybody receive this knowledge, they’ve ample details about a affected person to hold out healthcare id fraud.
Healthcare id theft is much like the extra commonly-known monetary id theft; nonetheless, healthcare id theft is usually rather more tough to resolve and comes at a far better price to sufferers. Not solely that, however not like monetary id theft, healthcare knowledge breaches can put sufferers’ bodily well being in danger.
For instance, within the wake of a profitable healthcare breach, a hacker can promote the affected person knowledge they obtained to a 3rd social gathering who intends to make use of the data to acquire medical care within the sufferer’s identify. In doing so, the third-party “affected person” might give healthcare suppliers their very own medical data, which frequently will get blended up with the sufferer’s personal data. As an illustration, a faux affected person might give a treating doctor a listing of their very own drugs, allergic reactions, or medical historical past. This can lead to the actual affected person’s medical document containing inaccurate data the subsequent time they go to the physician for therapy.
Those that have their protected well being data leaked in an information breach ought to take all essential precautions to scale back the probabilities of healthcare id theft, together with reviewing their medical information. Sufferers who’ve questions on how you can maintain an organization accountable for the theft of their data ought to attain out to an information breach lawyer for help.
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DISCLAIMER: Due to the generality of this replace, the data supplied herein will not be relevant in all conditions and shouldn’t be acted upon with out particular authorized recommendation based mostly on explicit conditions.
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