MSDH: Clients protected health information accidentally released

State

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi State Department of Health sent letters out to its clients notifying them that some of their protected health information was accidentally released to a consulting firm.

MSDH said information such as name, date of birth, social security number or lab results were sent to J Michael Consulting, a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials said this could have resulted in an unauthorized disclosure since the information was not meant to be shared.

On January 30, 2018, MSDH said they became aware that an employee unknowingly emailed an Excel spreadsheet containing patients’ protected health information. This information was sent January 25.

They said 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.

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

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 Mississippi State Department of Health 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.

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

The Mississippi State Department of Health will offer free credit monitoring protection for one year, for clients whose information was included in the spreadsheet.

If any clients have questions or want to sign up for the free service call Nicole Litton or Christin Williams at: 1-866-458-4948 or 601-576-7874.

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