Applicant Sues Anthem Blue Cross for Failing To Protect Personal Data
An Anthem Blue Cross applicant has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court Â alleging that the insurer failed to protect his confidential information from a breach of the company's records earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The suit, filed by Patrick Magorien of Sacramento, relates to an incident in which attorneys who were suing Anthem temporarily gained access to information on applicants. Magorien claims the breach exposed his address, Social Security number and credit card numbers, making him susceptible to identity theft.
Magorien's lawsuit is seeking class-action status on behalf of others whose personal information might have been jeopardized.
Anthem declined to comment on the lawsuit. The insurer previously said it addressed the problem as soon as it discovered the data breach (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 9/17). Â
Data Breach at L.A. County Center
In related news, authorities have charged a janitor at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Willowbrook with felony commercial burglary for selling 14 boxes of patient records to a recycling center (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 9/17).
Steve Whitmore -- spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department -- said the boxes contained addresses, medical record numbers, names and phone numbers for about 33,000 patients.Â However, the boxes did not contain Social Security numbers, financial information or medical information, officials said.
Whitmore said authorities do not believe the janitor intended to commit identity theft or expose protected medical data.
Officials said affected individuals will begin receiving information about the breach this week (Lin/Hennessy-Fiske, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 9/17).
On Friday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the sale of patient records to the recycling center (Valot, "KPCC News," KPCC, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.