Congress probes stolen laptop with 2,500 heart patients' names

Lawmakers are questioning why the government waited almost a month to warn 2,500 patients enrolled in a National Institutes of Health study that some of their medical records were in a stolen laptop computer.The laptop was stolen from the locked trunk of a researcher’s car on Feb. 23, but the NIH didn’t send letters notifying the patients until March 20.

“The stunning failure to act … raises troubling questions,” said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.

Dingell chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which began an investigation Monday into the delay and why the patients’ records were not encrypted, in violation of federal security policies.

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