Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services say an unencrypted email sent in August may have compromised the confidential health information of more than 1,600 Medicaid patients.
Agency spokeswoman Kendra Gerlach tells WRAL-TV that even though the security breach occurred Aug. 19, letters weren't mailed to the affected patients until Friday.
She says that's because DHHS "must investigate thoroughly and ensure there is full understanding before determining next steps."
The agency says a DHHA employee inadvertently sent an email to the Granville County Health Department without encrypting it. The email included a spreadsheet containing protected health information for Medicaid recipients.
Gerlach says the agency has no indication the spreadsheet was intercepted.