Mount Sinai Medical Center reports two stolen laptops contained Social Security Numbers and diagnoses

Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, notified HHS of a laptop theft on June 7th involving PHI on 712 patients.

The hospital posted a public notice on its site on July 11th:

Public Notice July 11, 2011

– July 11, 2011 /Press Release/ ––

Mount Sinai Multispecialty Physicians Practice announced today that two laptop computers which may contain confidential patient information are missing from its offices in Long Island City, Queens. An investigation has been launched, and there is no reason at this time to believe that any data on the missing laptops have been accessed or used improperly.

Information about as many as 720 patients may be contained on the missing laptops, including protected health information such as name, social security number and diagnosis. One laptop was password protected, but a person with sophisticated computer abilities might be able to bypass the password protection.

To ensure there is no recurrence, all computers in the Practice have been physically secured and the hard drives that contain confidential information have been encrypted. Mount Sinai has also reported this matter to potentially affected patients and to the appropriate state and/or federal agencies as required by applicable law. These patients have been advised to check their credit reports and to take appropriate precautions against possible identity theft.

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