FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 17, 2015
DENVER, Colo.—Colorado’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is notifying residents impacted by a client correspondence mistake resulting from a technical error that occurred between May 25, 2015 and July 5, 2015.
During this time, letters meant for approximately 3,000 Medical Assistance, Food Assistance, Adult Financial and Colorado Works households were mistakenly sent to wrong addresses. Mailings to 1,622 of those households were intended for Medicaid recipients and contained personal health information. As is required by federal law, Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has reported this on its website and issued a press release issued earlier today.
Additionally, there was impact to Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) clients (Food Assistance, Adult Financial and Colorado Works). Correspondence intended for 1,069 CDHS households included the social security numbers of individuals. Letters meant for another 353 CDHS households included personally identifiable information such as name, address and state identification numbers.
OIT, CDHS, and HCPF are following all best practices to ensure that no harm results from this breach. This includes sending letters to all those impacted and making credit monitoring available to people whose medical information or social security numbers were exposed. All impacted parties will have received their letters in the next several days.
The error occurred during a technical code change made by a vendor in late May which impacted fields of information in an unanticipated manner. The initial problem was reported to OIT on July 1. After determining the problem was wider spread, a fix was put into place July 5. While the fix corrected the problem, OIT and its vendor have put in additional quality checks to ensure such a situation does not occur again. The first verifies that the names printed on letters match the individuals linked to a case; the second verifies that the address matches the intended address for the communication. If either check fails, the letter is not mailed.
Chief Information Officer Suma Nallapati says, “We are stewards of people’s personal information and we take that responsibility very seriously. We are doing everything possible to ensure this does not happen again.”
The Colorado Benefits Management System manages approximately 750,000 cases monthly for the State of Colorado.
Find OIT online at colorado.gov/oit, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Tauna Lockhart, Chief Communications Officer & PIO