Texas physicians group notifies patients of unauthorized disclosure

It seems like a previously reported incident involved Dr. Mario Gross also impacted Premier Family Care I, Inc. in TX. They notified HHS on July 20 that 1,326 patients were affected.

The notice was posted on Premier Physicians’ site.

Premier Physicians Notifies Patients of Records Security Incident

MIDLAND, TX – June 7, 2016 – Premier Physicians Group has become aware of a records security incident that may have resulted in the inadvertent exposure of the personal and protected health information of some of our patients. Although at this time there is no evidence of any attempted or actual misuse of anyone’s information as a result of this incident, we have taken steps to notify our patients and provide information about the incident and steps they can take to monitor and protect their personal information.

On April 8, 2016, unsupervised medical records were discovered in the former home of Dr. Mario Gross, who was previously an employee of Premier Physicians. The doctor had moved out of the local area and left behind files and records, which remained in his house after possession transferred to a local bank. Recognizing that the records had been left unattended, we immediately removed and secured the patient files and initiated a thorough examination to determine what information was contained in the records. The examination determined that the records contained a variety of patient information including names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, Social Security numbers, clinical data, and medical insurance information. The records did not include any credit or payment card information.

We take the privacy and security of personal information very seriously, and we have undertaken a thorough response to this incident. In addition to securing the records involved, we have reviewed and modified our policies and procedures, educated our medical staff about the incident and tasked them with reviewing and updating their own controls over patient records, and reminded our workforce about the rules and procedures for protecting patient records. The incident has been reported to appropriate health authorities, and is under review.

We mailed a letter to individuals potentially impacted by this event, which includes steps patients can take to monitor and protect their personal information. We also have established a toll-free call center to answer patient questions about the incident and related concerns. The call center is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time and can be reached at (844) 305-8391. Additional information and recommendations for protecting personal information can be found below.

The privacy and protection of patient information is a top priority for Premier Physicians, and we deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.

I wonder how many other medical entities there are in Midland, Texas or thereabouts that Dr. Gross was affiliated with. And I wonder if he’s facing any disciplinary charges with the state medical board or other charges with the state attorney general’s office.

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8 comments to “Texas physicians group notifies patients of unauthorized disclosure”

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  1. Libby M - July 26, 2016

    How would they know that files were left in an abandoned home?

    • Dissent - July 26, 2016

      Because the files were found there and turned over.

  2. Libby M - July 26, 2016

    So he left, moved and forgot patient files? I don’t understand that either. How does someone forget their work documents or not do a walkthrough to see what is forgotten?

    • Dissent - July 26, 2016

      What makes you think he forgot?

  3. Libby M - July 26, 2016

    It boggles my mind that they were left there.

    • Dissent - July 27, 2016

      Then you need to read this site much more frequently. It’s all too common that when practices fold or doctors retire, etc., records don’t always get disposed of properly. This is not the first time patient records have been found in a home where someone moved out – or at the curb, etc.

  4. Libby M - July 27, 2016

    Then that is pretty lame then. There is no excuse.

  5. Libby M - July 27, 2016

    Haven’t people ever heard of shredders?

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