FL: Aventura Hospital and Medical Center notifies more patients of insider breach
It appears that Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Florida is notifying additional patients of a previously disclosed breach involving patient information.
On February 27, the hospital submitted a breach notification to HHS indicating that 686 patients were affected by a breach involving unauthorized access/disclosure of PHI. The breach report was submitted the same week a lawsuit against its parent corporation, HCA, was filed over previous breaches.
In response to an inquiry from DataBreaches.net, an HCA spokesperson pointed us to a legal notice that ran in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on March 1 and in the Miami Herald on March 5:
NOTICE Aventura Hospital and Medical Center previously discovered that an employee had inappropriately accessed patients’ personal information from the facility. The information contained patient information including name, date of birth, hospital account number, reason for medical procedure, the results of the medical procedure and procedure date. Our review further uncovered no inappropriate printing of personal identifying information. The employee in question has been terminated and law enforcement has been involved in the matter. Thereafter, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center continued to investigate this incident in order to identify all individuals potentially affected, and to reduce the risks to our patients. On July 14, 2014, Aventura identified that individuals may have also been affected between October 1, 2012 and October 2013. More recently, Aventura identified that additional individuals may have also been affected beginning as early as January 1, 2012 through October 2013. After a thorough analysis of the databases viewed by this former employee, the hospital cannot be certain whether your social security number was viewed by this individual. We are able to affirm, however, that none of your personal information was printed by the responsible individual. These recent findings are being provided to law enforcement in hopes of prosecuting the responsible parties to the fullest extent of the law. If you were a patient at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and your information has been identified as inappropriately accessed, a letter was mailed to you to explain how best to protect your personal information. Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is committed to the proper handling and protection of patient information, and we have reviewed our processes and systems to further ensure that personal information is protected in a secure manner. If you have questions or concerns about the letter you received or would like assistance to determine whether your personal information may have been compromised, please contact our dedicated Privacy Line at 888-594-8651 or by email at [email protected] 3/1/2015
In the past, I had raised the possibility that Aventura had not had multiple insider breaches but rather one long-running one. It is still not clear how many unique insider breaches Aventura has disclosed (not counting the breach where a Valesco employee compromised the information of over 80,000 patients). HCA has not responded to a follow-up inquiry as to how many unique insider breaches they’ve reported. This post will be updated as information becomes available.
Update: an HCA spokesperson responded to the emailed inquiry asking for clarification as to whether there was one insider breach or more than one by writing, “I don’t have anything for you that hasn’t already been shared publicly.”