Medicaid Security Breach

New Mexico – Thousands of people who receive Medicaid services under New Mexico's Salud Plan are being notified about a security breach of protected health information.

The New Mexico Human Services Department is encouraging all Salud plan and fee for service members to protect themselves by placing fraud alerts on their credit accounts. The department also is providing a toll-free number for concerned clients.

The breach happened in March in Chicago, when a car belonging to a subcontractor of a company that processes claims and provides dental benefits for the state's Medicaid program was stolen.

In the trunk was a laptop that contained patient information including names and health plan identification numbers, which in some cases is an individual's social security number.

The computer was password protected but didn't have other safeguards.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.