AZ: Files containing patient info left unsecured at TMC HealthCare property

Gloria Knott reports:

More than a thousand paper files containing patient information were left unsecured during a 2-week time frame at a storage suite on TMC HealthCare property in July, a news release from TMC HealthCare says.

TMC HealthCare is the umbrella organization that includes Tucson Medical Center and other offices. This particular incident did not happen at the hospital.

Read more on Tucson.com.

The full statement from TMC Healthcare appears below:

Notice to our Patients of Privacy Incident at TMC HealthCare

TMC HealthCare is committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our patients’ information. Regrettably, this notice concerns an incident involving some of that information.

On July 12, 2018, TMC HealthCare learned that paper files containing patient information had inadvertently been left unsecured in an unlocked suite used for storage. TMC HealthCare immediately secured the files. TMC HealthCare has no reason to believe that the suite was left unlocked for any period other than June 27, 2018 to July 12, 2018. TMC HealthCare promptly began an investigation and determined that some of the files contained patient information, which may have included patients’ names, dates of birth, addresses, medical record numbers, insurance ID or Social Security number, diagnoses, treatment information, provider information, medications, test results, and other clinical information.

TMC HealthCare has no reason to believe that any patient information has been accessed or used inappropriately; however, as a precaution, we began mailing letters to affected patients on September 7, 2018. We have established a dedicated call center to answer any questions patients may have. If you believe you are affected and have not received a letter by September 25, 2018, please call 1-877-440-0645, Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

We are offering one year of complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services to eligible patients. We also recommend that affected patients review the statements they receive from their health insurer. If they see services that they did not receive, please contact the insurer immediately.

We deeply regret any inconvenience and concern this may cause our patients. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, TMC HealthCare is reinforcing training with all individuals responsible for the secure storage and maintenance of files containing any patient information.

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