Ouch: Patient records found years later in his home by a former spouse of a former Hanger Clinic employee

Hanger Clinic in Florida posted the following undated notice on their site.  DataBreaches.net had emailed them to ask when the notice was issued and how many patients were notified, but has received no reply as yet. Nor is this incident on HHS’s breach tool as of the time of this posting:

This Notice applies only to patients that received services from the Patient Care Center located at 28 Perry Ave SE in Fort Walton Beach, FL in 2009. These are the only patients who may be affected by this incident. 

On September 17, 2018, a box of patient insurance documents from 2009 was returned to Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. (“Hanger”). The former spouse of a past Hanger employee found the box at his home stored with boxes of his own records. The individual promptly returned the box to us upon its discovery. We believe these records were stored at the individual’s home beginning sometime between 2009 (the year on the records) and 2014 (the year the former employee stopped working for Hanger). 

Other than as necessary to identify that the box contained Hanger documents, the individual has attested, in writing, that he did not access the box or the documents it contained. Therefore, we have no reason to believe that any individual’s information has been further used or disclosed improperly. However, as a precaution, we wanted to notify individuals regarding this incident to provide assurances that we are committed to the security and confidentiality of patient information. As a precaution, we recommend that affected individuals regularly review the explanation of benefits statement received from his or her health insurer. If the individual identifies services listed on the explanation of benefits that the individual did not receive, the individual should immediately contact his or her insurer. 

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause affected individuals. To help prevent a reoccurrence of this type of incident in the future, we are conducting a thorough review of our policies and procedures. 

To determine if the documents contained your information or if you have any questions, please contact us at 1-833-263-1921.

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