Mar 192019

Laura Christmas reports from Alabama:

Monday morning when employees came to work at a Marshall County recycling center, they found boxes of documents that included people’s personal information in what looked like personal tax documents.

Some of the papers had a company name listed: Professional Tax & Accounting, which has three offices in Birmingham, Jasper, and Bessemer.

In this case, this may not be a human error incident.

We called the company. “We had a theft of documents that happened,” a company official said in a statement, “A break-in that was out of our control. We contacted the Birmingham Police Department, and we’re doing everything in our power to work with the proper authorities to hold the thief accountable.”

Read more on WHNT.

Mar 112019

So here’s yet another breach with what seems like a long delay to notification.

In this case, Re-Solutions, a division of RSC Insurance Brokerage in Massachusetts, is a business associate to healthcare providers.

On August 23, 2018,  an employee’s laptop was stolen. In its disclosure letter, the laptop was described as “password-protected,” but there was no mention of any encryption or ability to remotely wipe the drive upon discovery of the theft.

On January 22, 2019, RSC provided written notification to its clients that it had completed its investigation and analysis of the incident. There was no explanation in the notification to patients as to why the investigation and analysis took 5 months.

On March 1, RSC notified HHS of the breach as impacting 2,088 patients.  They also began sending notifications to those affected.  A template of the letter appears on the California Attorney General’s site.

Obviously, this incident did not impact as many clients or patients as the Wolverine Solutions Group I’ve reported on previously.  But once again, we have a business associate breach and notification to patients within 60 days of notification to the covered entities — but long gaps (more than 60 days) from initial discovery that there has been an incident to notification to the covered entities.

I really wish HHS would dive into this issue more, as a thief obtained PHI on August 23, 2018 and had from them until March of 2019 to possibly be misusing data before patients were ever alerted. And that may be fine under HIPAA or HITECH,  but perhaps it shouldn’t be (if it is fine).


Mar 112019

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on a stolen laptop.  If you missed the earlier parts, you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Priscilla Hwang reports:

The N.W.T. government’s information technology division knew a set of laptops were “very difficult” to encrypt, but still handed it out for government staff to use in 2013, suggest internal documents obtained by CBC News.

One of those unencrypted laptops — which potentially contained health data on nearly the entire territory’s population — was eventually stolen, according to the territorial government.

Read more on CBC News.

Mar 092019

KFOR-TV and K. Querry report that Oklahoma Heart Hospital is notifying 1,221 patients following a January burglary that resulted in the theft of four desktop computers from an outpatient clinic.

The computers reportedly contained patient information like names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers and clinical information.

Read more on KFOR-TV.

NewsOfToday has additional details that the theft occurred while offices were being moved.

The incident is not yet on HHS’s breach tool, and I don’t see any notice up on the hospital’s site at this time, but what I do see on the hospital’s site that made me smile is a link at the bottom of every page in the footer that says “Report a Privacy/Security Concern.” Well done, OHH.

Feb 272019

MTN News reports:

There was a breach of personal patient information at the Rocky Boy Health Center recently.

On Thursday evening, Rocky Boy Health Center CEO Jessica Windy Boy posted on the Center’s Facebook page stating health officials became aware of the breach on January 16.

The breach reportedly happened on or around January 14.

According to the post, medical records were broken into including X-ray and dental records dating back to the late 1990s.

Read more on KRTV.