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Highmark warns members about health risk assessment mixup

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Highmark Inc. is notifying approximately 3,675 members and their care providers of a mailing mixup out of "an abundance of caution," the Pittsburgh-based insurer said in a news release today.

Highmark, which has a significant presence in Central Pennsylvania, said it recently learned that that, due to an error in a mailing process on an April 19 notification, several members reported receiving risk assessments belonging to other members in addition to their own.

The mailing was to some Security Blue and Freedom Blue members, providing health risk assessment results. It contained personal health information including the member name, address, date of birth, certain medical information and the Highmark unique member identifier. Social Security numbers were not included in the correspondence, Highmark said.

"There is no evidence at all that any of the information that was mailed in error has been accessed or used inappropriately," the news release said. Although unable to ascertain the exact number of letters incorrectly mailed from the total number sent, Highmark said it has confirmed that the majority of members received only their correct information.

Nevertheless, Highmark said, it is notifying the remaining members of the incident "in an abundance of caution." In addition, it is replacing the members’ unique member identification numbers with a newly issued one to further ensure the protection of their data.

"Because the individual responsible for the mailing error failed to follow policy, Highmark has taken appropriate disciplinary action," the release said.

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