SALT LAKE CITY - A data security breach at the Utah Health Department, believed to be the work of Eastern European hackers, has exposed 24,000 US Medicaid files bearing names, Social Security numbers and other private information, state officials said on Wednesday.
The intrusion initially appeared to have affected claims representing at least 9 percent of the 260,000 clients of Medicaid in Utah. But because each file often contains information on more than one individual, the full extent of the breach is probably wider, officials said.
Medicaid is a federal-state program that helps pay for healthcare for the needy, the aged and disabled. The state determines eligibility and which services are covered, and the federal government reimburses a percentage of the state's expenditures.
"At this point, efforts are focused on determining the number and identity of individual clients who may have had their information compromised during the breach," the state Health and Technology Services departments said in a joint statement.