Dec 152014
 

The Kirkbride Center in Pennsylvania is a 245-bed 245 comprehensive behavioral health care facility located in Philadelphia that provides acute psychiatric and addiction services.

Philadelphia, Pa, November 19, 2014 – The Kirkbride Center(“Kirkbride”) is notifying the public, under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Breach Notification Rule, of the theft of a small number of paper documents, commonly known as a “census sheet,” which contained some limited personal information of 922 patients.

The theft occurred on certain dates in 2012 and 2013 and was discovered and reported to Kirkbride by the U.S. Attorney’s office in August 2014. An investigation by Kirkbride confirmed the only certain paper reports for certain dates containing some patient data was stolen. Kirkbride cooperated fully with law enforcement. A suspect was identified, arrested, and recently tried. The stolen paper documents were recovered.

Under government health care programs, Kirkbride provides behavioral healthcare services and processes patient data for reporting and billing purposes. Kirkbride is notifying its patients affected by this incident.

The data on the stolen paper documents included personal information only from patients serviced on certain dates. Specifically, patient name, address, some social security numbers, date of birth, and limited insurance or medical information were on the documents. To date, no indication of inappropriate use of the information exists.

Individuals affected by this can receive credit –monitoring services and other credit-protection services free-of-charge.

Kirkbride regrets this situation, and apologizes to those affected by this incident. Kirkbride has put policies and protections in place to prevent such events in the future, including modifying its billing system and associated reports.

Patients who need further assistance, or who would like additional information on ways to protect their personal information, can visit Kirkbride’s website at: www.kirkbridecenter.com

This incident was added to HHS’s public breach tool this week, but the entry indicated that 860 patients were affected. It’s not clear which is the more accurate number.

In a companion statement, also posted on their site, Rose DiOttavio, President/CEO, writes:

We want to express our sincere regret to the patients of our Center whose personal information was stolen from our facility.  At the end of August 2014, Kirkbride Center was contacted by law enforcement officials from the state of Florida.  An Assistant US Attorney advised Kirkbride Center that an individual had been arrested and would be tried for identity theft.  The individual had in his possession a limited number of paper documents from Kirkbride Center that contained patients’ personal health information for a limited number of patients.

We immediately began an investigation as to how these documents may have been stolen from the facility.  The notification was delayed as a result of the law enforcement investigation.  The information contained in the paper documents contained patients’ names, date of birth, and some social security numbers but very limited healthcare information. We believe the risk of harm to you is low.  The information appears to all have only been provided by the individual to a law enforcement official during the investigation.

We want to make you aware of steps you may take to guard against identity theft or fraud.  Please review the below Information about Identity Theft Prevention.

As an added precaution, we have arranged to have AllClear ID protect the identity for 12 months of anyone whose personal information was exposed on these paper documents at no cost to the patient. You may contact AllClear ID to determine if you were one of the limited number of individuals whose information was on the stolen paper documents and you are eligible for the AllClear ID identity protection.  The toll free number is 1-877-615-3785.

We take the protection of your personal information seriously and are taking steps to prevent a similar occurrence.  Kirkbride Center has modified its internal reports and policies to protect against future occurrences.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern caused by this incident.

 

 

 

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