Nassau County DA says multiple ID theft crews hit North Shore-LIJ

More information has been disclosed about data security breaches affecting patients at North Shore University Hospital – Long Island Jewish Hospital. In April 2012, we learned that there had seemingly been two separate incidents, one involving a nurse from Brooklyn. But it seems that there was a lot more data theft and misuse going on than we previously knew. Matthew Chayes reports that there have been at least three separate ID theft crews that have stolen patient face sheets with patients’ information. At least one of the criminal enterprises involved an insider. As Chayes reports:

According to prosecutor Kellie McKenna, to date five people have been arrested in the cases, and several have pleaded guilty. There is a warrant out for one of the thieves.

In one case, a worker tasked with doing intake for hospital employees who needed physicals is accused of stealing or photocopying their face sheets. A cohort, who did not work at the hospital, was caught using the stolen data at the music store Sam Ash in Carle Place and Walmart in Westbury, according to court records.

In another case, a crew used information gleaned from the face sheets to go shopping at stores all over the Eastern Seaboard. More than 100 patients were targeted in that scam alone.

Prosecutors secured several guilty pleas in that case, jail time was served, but the actual thief or thieves who obtained the face sheets was never found, nor was it conclusively determined how they were obtained.

“But wait, there’s more,” it seems. Chayes also reports that there is also an ongoing investigation of “several workers employed at medical practices affiliated with North Shore-LIJ. They are suspected of filching patient information to file false tax returns under those patients’ names and obtain fraudulent tax refunds.”

As noted previously on this blog, a class action lawsuit was filed against the health system.

There is no breach incident for North Shore University Hospital or North Shore-LIJ Health System listed on HHS’s breach tool, nor for any of their other hospitals.

If the hospital has been the victim of three or more breaches that they failed to prevent or detect, I can only imagine that they are in for a serious investigation by HHS.

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