Notice of Privacy Event

ABOUT THE EVENT

Meridian’s electronic fax system erred on 6/15/17. The error caused the system to re-send faxes that were marked as “failed.” Faxes are marked as “failed” if the fax does not send successfully for any reason.

This issue caused each failed fax to be re-sent to the number it was first sent to. Faxes as old as 2013 were re-sent. Most of the faxes that were re-sent were from 2015. All faxes were either Corporate Authorizations or Enrollment Lists.

These faxes were all meant for health care providers when first sent. Most providers still use the same fax number as they did when the fax first failed. A small number of providers may have changed their fax number. 

Any fax sent to a number that Meridian could not confirm as a health care provider might be at risk. Meridian sent people on this small list a notice like this one on or near 8/15/17. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who may have been affected?

  • 415 affected members:
    • Enrolled in a Meridian Health Plan of Illinois Medicaid Managed Care or Medicare Advantage plan from 2013 to June 2017
    • Who requested a prior authorization (PA)
    • Who saw an affected provider
    • Whose info was sent by fax and the fax failed to send

What info may have been affected?

Most of these faxes were re-sent to health care providers. Meridian could not confirm if the fax number belonged to the same provider for some faxes. Either a Corporate Authorization (CA) or an Enrollment List was re-sent in each case.

 

CA:

CAs contain the following:

    • Name
    • Member ID number
    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • CA info
      • CA number
      • Description
      • CA date/approval status
      • Diagnosis 
      • Service
      • Diagnosis-related group (DRG) codes and descriptions
      • DRG place of service
      • Planned procedure name
      • Other procedures
    • Case management and disease management enrollment status
    • Primary care provider (PCP) name and contact info
    • Referring practitioner name and contact info (if applicable)
    • Facility name and contact info (if applicable)
    • Any preventive health services due

 

Enrollment List:

This is a list that Meridian shares with your PCP each month. It lists which members have picked that PCP. It also lists any preventive services that might be due for those members. This list was dated 6/1/14. 

 

Enrollment lists contain the following:

    • Name
    • Member ID number
    • Date of birth
    • Sex
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Coordination program
    • Line of business (Medicare, Medicaid or Commercial)
    • Product/population
    • Any preventive health services due

 

I did not get a notice. I think I was affected. How can I find out?

Meridian mailed letters to people whose info was within the faxes on 8/15/17. 

Call Member Services toll-free at 866-606-3700, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. if:

  • You think your contact info is out of date with Meridian
  • You are no longer enrolled in a Meridian plan
  • You think you may be impacted but did not get a letter

You will need to give your name and date of birth to see if you were affected.

 

What is Meridian doing to fix this?

Meridian takes the security of your health info very seriously. We took the below steps to keep this promise:

  • Turned off the fax system at the time of the issue to stop more faxes being sent in error
  • Added extra measures to prevent the risk of this repeating
  • Disclosed the error to each number that got a re-sent fax
  • Disciplined the at fault employee
  • Informed providers that info sent in error should be destroyed

 

WHAT CAN I DO?

Most of the faxes re-sent by this error are of little risk to members. This is because they were re-sent to the member’s provider office. 

Meridian suggests that you take the steps below to secure your info:

 

  • Watch your tax filing

a. Visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/identity-protection for info and steps you can take to address a fraudulent tax return filed in your name. You can also learn what to do if you become the victim of such fraud

b. Or https://www.irs.gov/uac/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft for more info

 

  • Check your financial statements carefully

a. Call your bank, credit union or credit card company if you see any suspicious activity

b. Look for info from companies you have not contacted, accounts you did not open and debts on your accounts that you cannot explain

 

  • Check your credit reports for suspicious or unauthorized activity

a. You get one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus per US law. To order your free credit report:

i. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com

ii. Call toll-free at 877-322-8228

iii. Contact the three major credit bureaus to ask for a free copy of your credit report:

 

                        Equifax                                                    Experian                                              TransUnion

                  P.O. Box 105069                                       P.O. Box 2002                                        P.O. Box 2000

                Atlanta, GA 30348                                     Allen, TX 75013                                   Chester, PA 19022

                   800-525-6285                                       888-397-3742                                      800-680-7289

               wwww.equifax.com                        www.experian.com                       www.transunion.com

 

  • Call law enforcement to report suspicious activity or incidents of identity theft and fraud

 

  • Check your Social Security account for suspicious activity. You can also create an account at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/ to monitor for any actual or attempts at misuse. Go to your local Social Security Office for help if you see any error or attempt at misuse of Social Security benefits.

 Local offices can be found using: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

 

  • Place a Fraud Alert or a Security Freeze on your credit reports if you see an error or attempt at misuse of Social Security benefits. You can find out more info from the Federal Trade Commission about Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes at:

   https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

 

A Fraud Alert is a signal placed in your credit report to warn potential creditors that they must use what the law calls “reasonable policies and procedures.” These force them to confirm your identity before they issue credit in your name. 

 

A Security Freeze is a signal placed in your credit report to not issue credit in your name.

 

Use the following info to find out how to place a Fraud Alert or a Security Freeze:

 

                        Equifax                                                    Experian                                              TransUnion

                  P.O. Box 105069                                       P.O. Box 2002                                        P.O. Box 2000

                Atlanta, GA 30348                                     Allen, TX 75013                                   Chester, PA 19022

                   800-525-6285                                       888-397-3742                                      800-680-7289

               wwww.equifax.com                        www.experian.com                       www.transunion.com

Page Last Modified: 10/7/2017 10:19:07 AM