CA: Private medical records found in trash

Salvador Hernandez reports:

Boxes with documents detailing confidential patient information, such as Social Security numbers and personal medical history, were found discarded next to a medical office building, which officials said could be a violation of patient confidentiality laws.

The documents, which were retrieved by a doctor about 90 minutes after they were discovered, could have exposed patients to identity theft and could be a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which governs patients’ privacy laws and addresses procedures for discarding medical records.

Sheriff’s officials were called about the discovery of the files at 5:04 p.m. on Nov. 26. The caller described boxes of private medical records that were found in a trash bin in the rear of a medical building at 24953 Paseo de Valencia. The documents included private information including Social Security numbers and patient medical histories, said Lt. Ted Boyne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more in the Orange County Register

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