It has been discovered that an unauthorized person has gained access to parts of its Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSUCHS) computer network and potentially downloaded files holding billing information of Medicaid subscribers.
The security violation was found on November 7, 2017 with access to the network switched off the next day. Third party computer forensics consultants were hired to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine which parts of the network had been affected, and whether patient health data had been accessed or stolen.
The investigation showed that patient health data could potentially have been seen although it was not possible to determine whether patient data had been accessed or taken. OSUCHS reports that it has not found conclusive proof to suggest any patient information has been improperly used.
As a precautionary measure, all those potentially impacted by the incident have been notified of the breach by mail and advised that they should be remain cautious with regard to the possibility that their personal date could potentially be improperly used.
OSUCHS says medical histories were not compromised and the breach was kept to names, healthcare provider credentials, Medicaid numbers, dates of service, and a small amount of treatment information. Only one Social Security number was stored on the compromised server.
The breach has lead to OSUCHS completing a review of security protections and additional measures have now been adapted to better protect patient information going forward
The incident has yet to be published on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) official breach portal.