On May 6, 2016, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland discovered a potential breach of patients’ personal health information. Hard copy patient records from August 1, 2008 – April 30, 2014 may have been accessed by unauthorized parties during the April 2016 closure and subsequent sale of our Dubuque health care center. This potential breach is limited to the Dubuque health care center only, and includes 2,506 patients.
We have notified patients and provided thorough instructions on how they may mitigate any potential negative impact that may arise from this incident, including a recommendation to contact the Federal Trade Commission’s division for identity theft.
“Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is deeply committed to the privacy and confidentiality our patients have come to expect and reply upon,” said Chief Clinical Officer Penny Dickey. “We sincerely regret that this incident occurred, and are currently conducting a comprehensive examination of our processes to ensure such an incident will never occur again.
“PPHeartland’s standard policy is to conduct ongoing security audits—which already far surpass state and federal regulatory standards—to ensure we remain true to our commitment to patient privacy,” Dickey said. “We have conducted a rigorous review of our processes and revised our facilities relocation protocols. All staff responsible for facility relocation have been apprised of these modifications.
“PPHeartland is dedicated to securing and maintaining our patients’ trust; this incident is in no way representative of PPHeartland’s stringent privacy standards. We will continue to strive toward the highest quality patient care, including stringent confidentiality standards, at all of our health centers.”
As a result of this incident, the privacy of the following information may have been compromised: patients’ full name, date of birth, mailing address, insurance information, social security number, medical record number, diagnosis, treatment, and lab results.
To date, PPHeartland has not received any indication that the information has been accessed or used by unauthorized individuals. PPHeartland has secured the data and has taken every possible measure to ensure that patient confidentiality is protected.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland remains deeply committed to providing the highest standard of quality health care to patients throughout our affiliate. For more information, visit our website at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-heartland/hipaa or call 1-877-811-7526.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPHeartland) has served women and men of all ages since the 1930s. Today the organization offers a full range of quality reproductive health care services to residents in Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Oklahoma through 17 health centers and Education Resource Centers in Des Moines, Lincoln and Omaha.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.