Update on UHS-Pruitt breach, and we learn of another Pruitt breach
In today’s installment, we update one Pruitt breach reported on this blog in December 2013, and we also find out about another Pruitt breach, not previously reported on this site.
HHS has updated its breach entry for a September 2013 incident involving a UHS-Pruitt stolen laptop with data on 1,300 patients:
“A manager’s unencrypted laptop computer was stolen from a hotel parking lot which also included the employee’s login and system password and the covered entity’s (CE) long term care software application. The laptop contained 1,300 individuals’ protected health information (PHI) and included names, social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, bank account numbers, Medicare numbers, possible diagnoses, and patient locations. Following the breach, the CE changed the employee’s password and performed an analysis to ensure no attempts had been made to access the system and long term care application using the prior account and password. The CE improved safeguards by encrypting electronic devices and employing devices that do not allow local storage. The CE has also re-trained employees. OCR has consolidated this review into a compliance review that involves the same corporate entity and another stolen unencrypted laptop.”
Confusingly, the second incident they refer to above is not the second laptop theft incident that PHIprivacy.net had reported in our blog post. That incident, involving their subsidiary, Unihealth SOURCE, affected 4,500 patients. HHS’s breach tool shows that incident as still open
Instead, the second stolen laptop incident HHS referred to above involved PruittHealth Pharmacy Services – an incident not previously reported upon or even known to this site. From HHS’s summary of that incident, it appears that incident occurred in December, 2013, and also involved a laptop stolen from an employee’s car:
“A manager’s unencrypted laptop computer was stolen from the back seat of an employee’s car. The laptop contained the protected health information (PHI) of 841 individuals and included names, possible diagnoses, prescription names, dates of service, and service locations. The covered entity (CE) has improved safeguards by encrypting devices and employing devices that do not allow local storage. The CE has also revised its privacy and security policies and re-trained employees. OCR has consolidated this review into a compliance review that involves the same corporate entity and another stolen unencrypted laptop. “
So Pruitt seems to have had at least three stolen laptop incidents in relatively short order. It’s not clear to me why all three incidents weren’t rolled up into the same compliance review, but I guess we’ll find out eventually.