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.

Read more on Monrovia Patch.

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.

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2 comments to “Over 168,000 Los Angeles County patients' data on computer stolen from billing vendor's office”

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  1. Anonymous - March 13, 2014

    I was notified by Davita of the data breach and my information was included as 1 of many patients medical and financial data was on the stolen laptop. The letter is very misleading;while they state “The laptop did not contain your SS#, driver’s license number or any credit card information. However, the did state that it did contain PHI as well as insurance carrier and claim payment data. I have worked in medical billing and Dialysis billing for over 25 years. If your having dialysis treatments you ave been diagnosed with E.S.R.D..
    This automatically qualifies your for Medicare coverage. Everyone knows your Medicare number is typically your SS# with a Alpha digit at the end to indicate what coverage you have. Therefore all patients with Medicare had their SS# breached. I have experienced and reported to Davita and Medicare billing fraud, I have spent countless hours responding to SCAM and FRAUD calls. I have had to change my number 3 times. While ID Experts are monitoring our “Credit Rating” with the 3 Credit reporting Agencies. They have no coverage to handle protecting us victims from having our Medicare Numbers aka Social Security numbers being stolen. Your healthcare data is 5 times more valuable than your financial data on the black market. Upon reporting my medicare number was being used fraudulently, ID Experts referred me to Divita. I contacted Social Security and CMS and to get a new medicare number aka Social Security number once stolen id extremely difficult. I have spent money on other services that monitor more than the 3 CRA’s and costs associated with having to constantly change my telephone number. They have not determined if they will reimburse my out-of-pocket costs since I took a proactive approach and not waited for their approval. Imagine the damage that could have been done when I called ID Experts, then Divita it was over a week before I spoke with a Davita Representative who took down my information, but have yet to respond. That was in January 2014. Is there a Class Action Lawsuit on behalf of the victims of Identity Theft and Medical Identity Theft??

    • Anonymous - March 13, 2014

      Did DaVita name Sutherland in their notification letter to you? Sutherland tells me that DaVita was not involved in their breach. Can you verify who sent you the notification and what it said in terms of who was responsible?

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