Ohio Mental Health Data Breach Could Affect Thousands

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state says it inadvertently released the protected health information of thousands of Ohioans who received mental health services.

Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says the breach happened in February when the agency mailed postcards inviting patients to participate in a satisfaction survey.

The information included patients’ full names and addresses – not mental health conditions, any services received or information that could lead to identity theft. However, by requesting participation in the survey, the postcards disclosed that recipients had received mental health or addiction treatment.

The department says the request should’ve been sent in a sealed envelope to avoid the patients’ association.

The agency says the postcards have been mailed without envelopes the past five years to 59,000 people.