A laptop containing personal information for hundreds of thousands of physicians, including many in Pennsylvania, has been stolen.

According to a letter Highmark sent to its affected network physicians, the stolen laptop belonged to an employee of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), who violated company policy by transferring provider network data onto the computer.

The data included names, addresses, tax ID numbers, Social Security numbers, and National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) of physicians who contract with Blues-affiliated health plans. As far as we know, Highmark is the only Pennsylvania Blues plan that has contacted physicians about the theft to date.

Although there is no evidence that the data has been misused so far, physicians should carefully monitor credit reports, account statements, and explanations of benefits.

BCBSA is offering one free year of credit monitoring to affected physicians. Instructions on activating the credit monitoring are included in the letter from Highmark. If you contract with a different Blues plan, please contact them regarding credit monitoring.

Check back for more information at www.pamedsoc.org/bluestheft.

This article was published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.