Healthcare Economy

Centene Data Debacle Affects 950,000 Customers

Paul Ausick

Health insurance provider Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) said on Monday that the company is conducting an “ongoing comprehensive internal search for six hard drives” that failed to turn up during an inventory count of its IT assets. The drives contain personal health information on approximately 950,000 individuals.

While not officially a data breach yet, because there are no facts on which to base that determination, the incident is being treated as such by Centene. The company said that the missing drives contained personal health information on people who had received laboratory services between 2009 and 2015, including name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, member ID number and health information. No financial or payment data were contained on the drives.

Centene said the drives were being used as part of a data project using laboratory outcomes to improve its members’ health.

The company also said that it is notifying all individuals whose data were kept on the drives and will offer them free credit and health care monitoring.
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Centene also said that it is in the process of reinforcing and reviewing its procedures related to managing its IT assets.

Centene’s shares traded down about 3.5% in the late morning Tuesday, at $59.23 in a 52-week range of $50.93 to $83.00.