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California Health Care Plan Warns of Data Breach

The Central California Alliance for Health announced Tuesday that a recent cybersecurity breach may have compromised the personal health information of a limited number of its members. An investigation is underway.

by Shawn Jansen, Merced Sun-Star / July 1, 2020
Shutterstock/WhataWin

(TNS) — The Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) announced Tuesday it recently become aware of a data security breach that may have resulted in the unintentional disclosure of member health information.

The Alliance is the Medi-Cal managed health care plan for Merced County, in addition to Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

In a release, the Alliance says there is no evidence that member information was accessed or misused. The company has notified members who may have been affected, according to a news release.

According to the release, an unknown, unauthorized third party accessed three employees’ email accounts to obtain the credentials of several individuals during a brief period on May, 7, 2020.

After the potentially suspicious activity, Alliance staff immediately began an investigation to determine what information was potentially accessed. The company determined that limited member health information may have been accessed, however, the information would not have included financial information or social security numbers.

“The Alliance remains committed to protecting member information and has taken steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future,” the company said in the release.

The email accounts of the employees involved were shut down and all Alliance employees were required to change their system password information. All employees were also required to complete a training course on preventing these type of data security breaches.

Letters were sent out to potentially impacted members, which included additional information what occurred. If members have questions, they can email listprivacyofficer@ccah-alliance.org.

The Alliance has over 330,000 members in Monterey, Merced and Santa Cruz counties.

©2020 the Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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