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SOCIAL SECURITY: SS Numbers of Medi-Cal Beneficiaries Placed on Mailing Envelopes

February 4, 2010

Sacramento – The California Department of Health Care Services has announced that there are still no incidents of identity breaches related to the recent error that placed the Social Security numbers of thousands of Medi-Cal beneficiaries on the envelope of a recent mailing.

According to a news-release from the DHCS Director David Maxwell-Jolly, “The privacy of Medi-Cal beneficiaries is a top priority for DHCS.”

He added, “We have implemented additional safeguards governing the release of Social Security Numbers, and our mailing vendor has implemented additional quality control measures to prevent such errors from occurring in the future. We take any breach of secure documents very seriously, and we regret this error. We will redouble our efforts to ensure that all beneficiary information entrusted to the state is aggressively and appropriately protected.”

The mistake occurred when the social security numbers of 49,352 Adult Health Care beneficiaries were displayed on the envelope mailing address that was sent last February 1.

The title of the mailing was “Notice of Change in Medical Necessity and Eligibility Criteria for Authorization of ADHC Services."

The error was discovered last February 4 and all mailing recipients were already notified.

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