Genesis Rehabilitation Services breach also affected patients

Back on October 29 and over on DataBreaches.net, I reported:

Genesis Rehabilitation Services  in Pennsylvania reports that an employee lost a thumb drive with the unencrypted personal information of 33 employees, agency employees, or applicants to GRS. The information on the drive included individuals’ names, postal or email addresses, and Social Security numbers.

The drive had reportedly been left in a secure office at Lebanon Center, although one might question their description of the office as “secure” since the drive disappeared from it.  In any event, GRS’s policy had called for employees to only use encrypted drives, and it appears that there was a violation of policy here.

The drive was discovered missing on September 3, and those affected have been offered free services with Kroll.

But it turns out that it wasn’t just employee data and it wasn’t just one thumb drive that went missing on August 30.  In a letter dated November 22, lawyers representing GRS notified the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office that there were two USB drives, and they also contained the PHI of 739 Lebanon Center and Wheelock Terrace patients who were residents of New Hampshire. Patient information included names, dates of birth, diagnoses, date of admission or service, medical insurance identification information, medical record number, and other clinical information. For 71 of the patients, Social Security numbers were also involved.

Patient notification began on November 7, and those affected were offered free credit monitoring services and insurance reimbursement up to $25,000 if anyone becomes a victim of ID theft.  GRS re-educated the employee involved in the breach on the importance of the encryption policy, reviewed their policies and worked to increase employee awareness of the importance of data security.

You can read the notification to the state and sample letters to employees and patients here (pdf).

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