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Information of more than 900 Arkansans mishandled, Department of Human Services says

by Daniel Mcfadin | November 16, 2022 at 4:26 p.m.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services at Donaghey Plaza in Little Rock is shown in this April 28, 2019 file photo.

The personal information of more than 900 Arkansans was mishandled via a breach in Medicaid client information, the state Department of Human Services announced Wednesday.

DHS said in a release that it became aware of the breach Tuesday, when it learned an employee had sent an email from her DHS account to her personal Yahoo! account with client information attached. 

The attachments were Excel spreadsheets that DHS uses to notify the Department of Health of the number of Medicaid clients who have been diagnosed with the flu.

There were 925 individuals included in the spreadsheets.

The information in the spreadsheets included date of birth, gender, county, zip code and the flu diagnosis. Names, Social Security numbers, the clients’ full addresses and financial information were not included in the spreadsheets.

The department said it was notifying the relevant clients about the incident via mail. The release did not say when the breach occurred.

"Although the information was limited in nature, DHS takes the privacy and security of its clients seriously," the department's release said. "When this incident was discovered, DHS took steps to mitigate the risk and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future."

If DHS clients have questions or concerns, they may contact the DHS Privacy Office by email at DHSPrivacyOfficer@dhs.arkansas.gov or by toll-free phone at 1-855-283-0835.

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