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Utah health department reports another data breach

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Personal information for Utah Medicaid recipients has once again been compromised after a USB memory stick containing the data was lost, the state Department of Health announced Wednesday.

Data for about 6,000 recipients were lost by an employee of an outside contractor while traveling, the agency said in a statement.

The security breach comes less than a year after the Department of Health announced hackers broke into a government server and stole the personal information of about 780,000 Medicaid recipients and participants in the Children's Health Insurance Program, including the Social Security numbers of about 280,000 of them.

Utah's chief technology officer resigned in the wake of the spring 2012 theft.

The Health Department on Wednesday said the most recent breach is limited to Medicaid recipient's names, Medicaid identification numbers, ages and recent prescription drug use.

No Social Security numbers or financial information were included in the lost data, the department said.

The contractor, Goold Health Systems, handles Medicaid pharmacy transactions for the Health Department.

Department spokesman Tom Hudachko said the GHS employee, identified only as a woman from Denver, was having trouble with an Internet connection Thursday while trying to upload the data to a server. The employee saved the personal information to an unencrypted USB memory stick and left the Health Department with the device. The employee lost the stick sometime in the following days while traveling between Salt Lake City, Denver and Washington, D.C.

GHS confirmed the information was lost Tuesday, Hudachko said, and the employee is no longer allowed to work with data for the Health Department.

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