United HealthCare Providers, Inc. Declares Knowledge Breach | Console and Associates, P.C. – JDSupra – JD SupraAugust 18, 2022
On August 15, 2022, United HealthCare Providers, Inc. confirmed that the corporate skilled a knowledge breach after submitting official paperwork with the Legal professional Basic of Texas. In keeping 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 possible that the corporate will start doing so within the close to future.
In case you acquired a knowledge breach notification, it’s important you perceive what’s in danger and what you are able to do about it. To study extra about methods to defend your self from changing into a sufferer of fraud or identification theft and what your authorized choices are within the wake of the United Healthcare knowledge breach, please see our current piece on the subject right here.
The United Healthcare breach was solely very just lately reported. Subsequently, the main points in regards to 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. Nonetheless, primarily based on the corporate’s official filings, the info safety incident concerned the names, addresses, medical health insurance data and medical data of affected people. Given the kind of knowledge leaked, it could be truthful to imagine that the breach impacted sufferers (reasonably than workers); nonetheless, this has not been confirmed by United Healthcare.
Based in 1974, United HealthCare Providers, Inc. is an insurance coverage firm primarily based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The corporate presents 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 Providers, Inc. is an umbrella firm that operates many different native and regional firms, 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 folks 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 in regards to the incident resulting in the breach or what particular sort of “insurance coverage” and “medical” data was compromised, primarily based on the accessible 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 referring to 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 take a look at, a affected person’s medical historical past, or a affected person’s present record of prescription medicines might all be thought-about protected well being data. Nonetheless, healthcare-related knowledge is barely thought-about protected when it additionally comprises an “identifier” that permits somebody to match the info up with a selected affected person. For instance, frequent identifiers embody sufferers’ names, e-mail addresses, bodily addresses, pictures 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 possible 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 acquire this knowledge, they’ve ample details about a affected person to hold out healthcare identification fraud.
Healthcare identification theft is much like the extra commonly-known monetary identification theft; nonetheless, healthcare identification theft is usually rather more troublesome to resolve and comes at a far higher price to sufferers. Not solely that, however in contrast to monetary identification 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 celebration 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 regularly will get blended up with the sufferer’s personal data. As an example, a fake affected person might give a treating doctor an inventory of their very own medicines, allergic reactions, or medical historical past. This may end up in the true affected person’s medical report containing inaccurate data the following time they go to the physician for therapy.
Those that have their protected well being data leaked in a knowledge breach ought to take all obligatory precautions to cut back the possibilities of healthcare identification theft, together with reviewing their medical information. Sufferers who’ve questions on methods to maintain an organization accountable for the theft of their data ought to attain out to a knowledge 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 primarily based on explicit conditions.
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