Tricare data breached

WASHINGTON — Science Applications International Corporation is mailing letters to affected military clinic and hospital patients regarding a data breach involving personally identifiable and protected health information.

On Sept. 14, SAIC reported the loss of backup tapes containing electronic health care records used in the military health system to capture patient data from 1992 through Sept. 7, 2011, in San Antonio-area military treatment facilities.

This includes patients filling pharmacy prescriptions and other patients whose laboratory workups were processed in these same MTFs, even if the patients were receiving treatment elsewhere. The data may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and some personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions. There is no financial data, such as credit card or bank account information, on the backup tapes.

The risk of harm to patients is judged to be low since retrieving the data on the tapes would require knowledge of, and access to, specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure. As a precaution, the assistant secretary of defense (health affairs) determined that SAIC should notify potentially impacted persons or households of this incident by letter.

As directed by Tricare Management Activity, SAIC will provide credit monitoring and credit restoration services for one year for patients requesting them. The credit restoration services being provided exceeds current industry standards for responding to a data breach.

SAIC’s Incident Response Center is available to answer patient’s questions, including helping with signing up for credit monitoring, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Concerned patients should call the response center to ask questions and verify authenticity of the letter:

» U.S., call toll free at 855-366-0140
» International, call collect at 952-556-8312

For more information, visit

(Courtesy of Tricare Public Affairs)