CalOptima, a Medicaid managed care plan serving 360,000 recipients in Orange County, Calif., has lost claims data on 68,000 members. The missing data includes substantial identifying information on affected members. The insurer has posted the following notice, first reported by HIStalk, on the home page of its Web site:

"CalOptima has identified the potential loss of past medical claims information for approximately 68,000 of its members that was stored on electronic media devices.

"CalOptima's claims scanning vendor sent the electronic media devices to CalOptima through the U.S. Postal service by certified mail. On Tuesday, October 13, 2009, CalOptima discovered the apparent loss of the devices when the external packaging materials were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service without the box containing the devices. CalOptima immediately initiated an investigation to determine the location of the devices, including the possibility that the separated box containing the devices may have been forwarded by the U.S. Post Office to another U.S. Post Office facility.

"On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, CalOptima notified state and federal agencies of the potential loss of the devices, and on the following day, posted an alert for public notification on its Web site when it became evident the devices might not be located. CalOptima, its vendor, and the U.S. Postal Service are continuing to search for the box containing the devices. Claims information contained on the devices includes member names, home addresses, dates of birth, medical procedure codes, diagnosis codes and member identification numbers, including some Social Security numbers.

"The devices contained only copies of historical processed claims information. CalOptima has identified the affected members and is preparing to send them notice letters. For more information, CalOptima members should call CalOptima at 1-800-509-4225."

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