Data miners track docs' habits

Matthew Perrone of the Associated Press reports: When most patients go to the pharmacy to fill a new prescription, they don’t think twice about turning over the note from their doctor. After all, how much could the scrawled handwriting on that tiny slip be worth? Not much to the average consumer — but to...

Prescription tracking creates privacy threat (editorial)

The push for monitoring is coming not just from doctors and public health officials but the attorney general’s office. And it would likely be a useful tool. But it’s easy to imagine a time when lobbyists could convince lawmakers that the drug problem has become severe enough to grant law enforcement agencies unfettered...

TX: Dentist charged with taping people in restroom

AP reports: A dentist accused of videotaping people using the bathroom at his clinic faces charges of improper photography, authorities said. Byron Weinle was charged Thursday on four counts, accused of secretly videotaping patients and employees. Two women who work at the clinic tipped authorities after finding videotapes inside Weinle’s office, officials said. Read...

Medical identity theft spreads

Judith Graham reports: The problem of medical identity theft is on the rise, and it’s often an inside job, experts say. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people have their medical identities stolen each year, said Pam Dixon, who heads the World Privacy Forum, a non-profit group that helps victims of identity theft. Most of the...

Cops: Ex-nurse stole medical records, drugs

Jessica Pierce reports: While searching the home of a former Thompson Hospital nurse, police say they found hundreds of syringes, medicine vials and — possibly most disturbing — the private medical records of dozens of patients. Only about six of the records were for Thompson patients, while the others were for patients at other...

Nursing assistant charged in ID theft

A Long Island nursing assistant has been arrested for allegedly stealing a patient’s credit card. Authorities say 44-year-old Brenda Skidmore, of Ronkonkoma, was caught using the card she stole from John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson. More – ABC News

Abortion clinic charged with improper disposal (follow-up)

Gina Damron reports: A 12-count warrant has been issued against a Lathrup Village abortion clinic for improperly disposing of medical records, according to Southfield’s 46th District Court. The case against WomanCare, located on Southfield Road, stems from a March incident in which patient records were discovered in a Dumpster behind the facility, court and...

UPHS Notifies Public Of Lost Payment Data

Heather J. Chin reports: University of Pennsylvania Health System notified an undisclosed number of patients this week that an encrypted backup tape containing personal and credit information was lost in transit by an outside carrier. Affected persons are those who made payments to UPHS between Feb. 25 and April 25. More – The Bulletin

The Security and Privacy of Healthcare Data

George Hulme writes: Despite the aim of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to bolster the security and privacy of patient information, a majority of health-care providers believe more should — and can — be done. And a newly formed consortium of industry leaders plans to do something about it. A group of...