Cedar Springs Hospital notifies patients of breach after state loses drive with patient data

Yesterday, Cedar Springs Hospital in Colorado issued a press release about an incident that involved the state.  They explain:

Cedar Springs Hospital recently received a request from its licensing agency, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (“CDPHE”), for certain hospital records.  As a licensed healthcare provider, Cedar Springs Hospital is subject to periodic surveys by CDPHE and in connection with those surveys, the CDPHE is entitled to various hospital records, including, but not limited to, those containing patient health information.  In late October, in connection with a survey, the CDPHE requested Cedar Springs Hospital copy a number of records onto an external drive that CDPHE provided to the facility.  Cedar Springs Hospital complied with the request.  On October 28, 2020, CDPHE notified Cedar Springs Hospital that the surveyor misplaced the external device containing the documents. Cedar Springs Hospital learned at that time that, contrary to CDPHE’s policy, the external device that the CDPHE surveyor provided for use was not encrypted.

Pardon my skepticism, but they had to copy their records onto that external drive, which they apparently were able to do. So shouldn’t they have known at the time that it wasn’t a protected drive? 

In any event, their investigation determined that the type of information provided to CDPHE included

name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number, medical record number, patient identification number, health insurance information (including health insurance number), treatment history (including dates of treatment, treatment location, and treating physician), medical diagnosis information, and prescription information.

The press release indicates that Cedar Springs Hospital is “notifying individuals whose information may have been impacted by this incident and is providing general information on what they can do to protect their information.”

They do not seem to be offering any credit monitoring or restoration services.  Will the state be offering those or are the patients just screwed and expected to absorb all the responsibility, time, cost, and stress to protect themselves?

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