Texas Health and Human Services Commission Reports Data Breach Affecting Thousands in East Texas

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) disclosed on Monday a data breach potentially impacting nearly 3,400 individuals residing in or near various East Texas communities. The breach, revealed on January 11, involved a staff member emailing spreadsheets containing sensitive personal information to their personal email account between September and October 2023.

According to HHSC, the spreadsheets contained confidential data, including full names, home addresses, telephone numbers, health information, services received, financial details, Medicaid identification numbers, and in one instance, a Social Security number. The affected individuals, primarily located in Tyler, Texarkana, Longview, Marshall, Beaumont, and Nacogdoches, were notified through first-class mail.

HHSC swiftly initiated an investigation into the privacy incident, identified the compromised information, and referred the matter to the Texas Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General for further inquiry. While no unauthorized disclosure or misuse of personal information has been reported, HHSC acknowledged the possibility of unintended recipients accessing the data.

In response, HHSC is offering one year of complimentary credit monitoring services to affected individuals and established a toll-free helpline (833-918-7750) for inquiries, available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Furthermore, HHSC emphasized its commitment to data security, including annual security and cybersecurity training for staff, and reiterated measures to reinforce the protection of confidential information.

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