Coplin Health Systems notifies 43,000 patients after laptop stolen from employee’s car

I really think that if HHS/OCR handed out a few well-advertised very very large monetary penalties, maybe these unencrypted devices stolen from car incidents would decrease.  It really is ridiculous  that this is still happening in 2018.  It’s one thing if we’re talking about a small non-profit or something where they may not have resources or a lot of support for employee training and infosec, but for this to happen with larger health systems…?  Fire people. Fine entities. Make this stop.

Here is Coplin Health System’s press release of December 29, 2017;

Coplin Health Systems recognizes the importance of protecting the confidentiality of our patients’ sensitive information and we work very hard to do so. As a result, we regret to inform you that on November 2, 2017, we discovered an incident that may have compromised the confidentiality of your personal health information. Although we have no reason to believe that the confidentiality of your personal information has been compromised and we believe it is unlikely that your personal information will be compromised as a result of this incident, we are providing you with this notice out of an abundance of caution and to comply with our obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).

The incident arises out of a theft of a laptop computer owned by Coplin Health Systems that was issued to one of our employees. On or about November 2, 2017, the laptop was stolen from an employee’s automobile. There is a remote possibility that the laptop contained documents containing your name, address, social security number, date of birth, financial information, and your health information. Although the laptop was protected by certain security features and required entry of a password to access the laptop, the laptop’s hard drive was not encrypted.

Both Coplin Health Systems and our employee have taken multiple steps to reduce any harm that might occur from this incident and eliminate the possibility of similar incidents in the future. Our employee immediately alerted law enforcement authorities of the theft and has monitored their investigation of the theft. Once we learned of the theft, our information technology (“IT”) department took a multitude of steps. Among other actions, our IT department immediately disabled the affected employee’s access to our computer networks and has continuously monitored our computer networks. To date, no one has attempted to use the stolen laptop to access any of our IT networks. Nor have we received any information from law enforcement authorities or from any of patients that would suggest that any person’s personal information has been accessed or use improperly.

Based on information we have collected and which we have obtained from law enforcement authorities, we do not believe that the thief stole the laptop with the intention of accessing your personal information or that the thief would have the sophisticated knowledge and resources necessary to bypass the laptop’s security mechanisms. We also believe that the laptop probably did not contain any documents containing any patient’s personal information. This notice is being provided out of an abundance of caution and to comply with the letter and spirit of HIPAA.

Coplin Health Systems is continuing to work with law enforcement authorities to address the laptop incident and we are committed to preventing any future incidents. We have taken actions that we believe will prevent a recurrence of this incident. To protect against the recurrence of other incidents and to ensure that all of our patients’ information remains private, we will ensure that our internal policies and procedures are being followed, and will review the security precautions in place to identify those areas in which security measures require supplementation. Further, any employee found violating these privacy standards will be subject to disciplinary action.

483 Court Street P 304.275-3301 Elizabeth, WV 26143 F 304.275.4798


If you are concerned, we advise you to consider the following steps:

• Call the toll-free numbers of any of the three major credit bureaus (below) to place a fraud alert on your credit report. This can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name.

Equifax: (888)766-0008; General: (800) 685-1111,, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241.

Experian: (888) 397-3742; General: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742);; 475 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 (888-909-8872 for freeze); disputes/; TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016. General: (800) 680-7289;; P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.

• Order your credit reports. When you receive your credit report, examine it closely and look for signs of fraud.

We take great measures to ensure that your sensitive information is never inadvertently released, and we are undertaking additional steps to prevent breaches such as this in the future. We deeply regret and apologize for any concern or inconvenience this situation may cause our patients and families.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about this incident or if you need additional information on what you should do as a result of the breach, at [1-800-315-2616 or email questions to [email protected], visit our website at or mail questions to Coplin Health Systems at 483 Court St, Elizabeth WV, 26143.


Derek Snyder
Chief Executive Officer

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