NM: ABQ Health Partners' patient records on missing — or stolen — laptop (Updated)

Stuart Dyson reports:

Some patient records may be in jeopardy, thanks to a lost or stolen laptop computer from ABQ Health Partners, the state’s largest independent doctor’s group.

ABQ Health Partners sent out a letter telling patients their personal information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

Lisa Martinez got the news, along with an undisclosed number of other patients. Her name, date of birth, health plan ID number and diagnosis information were on a spreadsheet in the laptop. Somebody could be looking at it right now.


Read more on KOB.

From the video of their news coverage, the laptop was associated with the the Orthopedic clinic, although they seem to have more than one Orthopedic clinic, so I’m not sure which one was involved.  Nor does KOB report when ABQHP first discovered the laptop was missing or stolen, and there was no explanation of why ABQ Health Partners was unable to say with any certainty whether the laptop was lost or stolen.

From the coverage, however, it sounds like the data were not encrypted. According to the organization, no Social Security numbers or addresses were on the laptop, but of course, there’s the risk that the patients’ names, dates of birth, and health insurance plan numbers might be used for medical ID theft.

There is no statement on the organization’s web site, no e-mail address for press inquiries, and the incident is not (yet?) up on HHS’s breach tool at the time of this posting, so at this point, there’s more we don’t know than we do know, although hopefully, their letter to affected patients provided more details.

Update: KOB reports that there 238 patients affected.

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