Over 168,000 Los Angeles County patients' data on computer stolen from billing vendor's office
The personal information of about 168,500 patients of the Los Angeles County departments of Health Services and Public Health was stolen during the theft of computer equipment from a firm that contracts with the county, authorities announced today.
The theft took place Feb. 5 at the Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, Inc., which contracts with both departments, according to the county Department of Auditor-Controller.
“Sutherland immediately notified law enforcement and subsequently notified the County,” according to a department statement.
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Sutherland provides billing and collection services to the departments. A copy of Sutherland’s notification letter has been uploaded to the Dept. of Health Services website, here (pdf) and to the Department of Public Health’s website, here. The letter notes that patient information on the stolen computer may have included the patient’s name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, billing information, diagnoses, and other medical information.
Those affected were offered free credit monitoring services from ID Experts, who have established a web site for patients seeking information on the breach or to enroll in the free services.
The letter does not offer any explanation as to why the patient data were not encrypted or whether they were supposed to have been encrypted.