Pa: Records Being Moved Out Of Old Clinic (update)

WJAC TV reports:

An abandoned Cambria County clinic has been causing problems for both neighbors and the building’s owners, especially after the building was broken into and medical records were thrown in and around the old clinic.

Once those medical records showed up on the road leading to the old Colver Clinic, people began to worry about their personal information getting into the wrong hands. Now action is being taken.

Dr. Aragam Subbarao was the last owner of the old clinic. He tells Channel 6 that before he closed the clinic, he posted notices for patients to pick up their medical records if they wanted them. Some people did. When he left the building, he says he made the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority the custodian of the records. The authority’s director Larry Custer says the authority put an article in the paper alerting the public that if they wanted the records they could come for them. A couple of dozen did. Custer says he then took what he felt were the most important records and stored them. He didn’t take records like X-rays.

Custer wasn’t obligated to remove any of the records, only secure the building. He did just that, until vandals started breaking in. Every time Custer boarded up windows and changed locks, more vandalism occurred, including the latest incident of the files being broken into. Now Custer says the authority has rented a storage shed and will remove all of the files and if anyone wants them beck, the redevelopment authority has a list of people’s files that they have.

You can contact the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority at 472-6711. If you fear your information got into the wrong hands, head to the “As Mentioned Page” here at wjactv.com. There you’ll find a link to an identity fraud prevention Web site.

As for the clinic, Cambria Township police are stepping up patrols at the old clinic and the authority still hopes to sell the old building.

Comment: Why was the doctor allowed to make the county the custodian of medical records? Why did the county even accept that role? Does that now make the county agency a HIPAA-covered entity? This whole arrangement sounds unsatisfactory. — Dissent

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