Premier Healthcare notifying 200,000 patients after laptop with PHI stolen from office (UPDATE3)

UPDATE: The stolen laptop was recovered on March 7. See the update here.

Original story:

Lauren Slavin reports:

Premier Healthcare patients are being notified of a possible data breach after a laptop with personal patient information was apparently stolen from the Bloomington office.

More than 200,000 Premier Healthcare patients’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other confidential information could be accessed from the stolen laptop, according to Premier officials.

Read more on Herald-Times (subscription required). I’ve contacted Premier to request a copy of their press release or substitute notice, and will update this post as more information becomes available.

Update: Premier Healthcare kindly provided their statement to DataBreaches.net:

Premier Healthcare, LLC, a Bloomington, Indiana, based physician-led multispecialty provider healthcare group, is reporting the theft of a laptop containing patient information. On January 4, 2016, Premier personnel discovered that a laptop had been stolen from the Billing Department in its locked and alarmed administrative office at 1180 South Liberty Drive in Bloomington. The laptop was password-protected, but was not encrypted. Emails stored on the hard drive on that laptop contained some screenshots, spreadsheets, and pdf documents that were used to address billing issues with patients, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers. These documents contained various combinations of patient demographic information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, financial information, medical record number, insurance information, and/or some clinical information. Together, the information of approximately 205,748 individuals could potentially be accessed on the stolen laptop.

There is no evidence to believe that the information on the laptop was the target of the theft or that any of that information has been accessed or used for fraudulent purposes. Premier took immediate steps to investigate and attempt to recover the laptop. A police report was filed and patients are being notified. Unfortunately, to date neither Premier nor law enforcement has been able to locate the stolen laptop or identify the perpetrator.

Premier has taken a number of steps to help keep this from happening in the future. Premier has begun the process of encrypting all of its computers. Premier also is reviewing its processes and protocols to better protect against a similar laptop theft from occurring in the future. If the perpetrator’s identity ever becomes known to Premier, it will seek to prosecute that person to the fullest extent allowed.

Premier Healthcare deeply regrets that this occurred and is committed to excellent care and protecting the privacy of personal information. Any individuals affected by this incident have been notified in writing and a toll-free information line has been set-up. Persons with questions regarding this incident may contact the information line at 1-877-509-8356 or may send an email to [email protected]

Premier subsequently updated their press release to add that

For 1,769 of those individuals, social security number and/or financial information could also potentially be accessed on the laptop.

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