Medical, dental records found in church recycling dumpster

Here’s a report from Mar. 18 that I missed when it was first posted by WTHR in Indianapolis:

Thousands of patient records found by our 13 Investigates team are now in the hands of state investigators.

Late Tuesday afternoon, special agents with the attorney general’s office picked up boxes loaded with thousands of sensitive, personal documents. We found the sensitive information dumped at an Indianapolis church parking lot.

[…]

What we discovered inside the dumpsters were thousands of patient files all containing names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, Social Security numbers, X-rays, medical histories, dental information, credit card numbers and more.

13 Investigates loaded up the files – nearly 7,000 of them – and brought them back to our studio to figure out where they came from. It turns out all of the records are from two dental clinics – Comfort Dental offices in Kokomo and Marion.

The Comfort Dental offices in Marion and in Kokomo are now closed. The dentist who ran these offices lost his dental license because of fraudulent billing. Now, a year and half later, more bad news for his patients.

Read more on WTHR.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the dentist does not report the breach to HHS. Hopefully, one of the affected patients will. But what will HHS do then?  Will they refer this to OCR for prosecution? It might be a good case to send a message about disposal of records when a practice folds.

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