NYU Langone Health notified patients this week that a binder containing a log with information related to presurgical insurance authorizations from NYU Langone Health Pediatric Surgery Associates was mistakenly recycled by NYU Langone’s cleaning company on October 17, 2017. Patient social security numbers were not included and therefore are not at risk, and there is no indication that the information has been misused in any way.
Approximately 2,000 patients were affected, and information for those patients included name, date of birth, date of service, diagnosis code, current procedural terminology code, insurer name and identification number, and potentially other short related comments, such as any insurance approval or denial information and inpatient or outpatient status.
Although there is no indication that this information has been misused, because the documents were not disposed of in accordance with NYU Langone’s standards, such as shredding, and insurance identification numbers were included, as a precautionary measure NYU Langone has arranged for these patients to receive identity theft protection with cyber monitoring from ID Experts at no cost for one year.
NYU Langone is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its patients’ health information and has taken steps to ensure that a similar incident will not occur. Staff was reeducated on the importance of safeguarding patient information and the practice updated their workflow to further protect such information. As required by law, NYU Langone reported this incident to the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
A dedicated phone line and call center team has been set up to answer questions of those concerned that they may have been impacted. The center can be reached toll free Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 8:00PM eastern standard time, at 888-684-4952.
SOURCE: NYU Langone
Update: This was reported to HHS on December 15 as impacting 2,138 patients.