Western Washington Medical Group Notifies 842 Patients of Improper Disposal of Records

 EVERETT, Wash., Feb. 2, 2018 — Western Washington Medical Group (“WWMG”), located in Everett, Washington, discovered that medical records and information for some of its patients may have been improperly disposed of on November 13, 2017.  On that date, the janitorial service performed their routine clean-up but mistakenly comingled documents from the WWMG Orthopedic, Sports, Spine, and Hand shred bins with the other trash from the office.  WWMG discovered the improper disposal of information the next morning, November 14, 2017.

WWMG believes that all of the disposed records were compacted and are now part of a landfill and that the risk to the patient population is low.  Any patient who might possibly be affected was contacted by first-class mail on January 12, 2018 to make them aware of this potential breach. Information contained in the shred bins may have included names, addresses, diagnoses, medical history forms, appointment dates, medical history, and health care insurance billing information.

The janitorial employees have received additional training to prevent this from occurring in the future.  At this time, there is no indication that any of this information has been used improperly.

WWMG deeply regrets that this mistake occurred and is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its patients’ personal information. All notified patients will be provided with one year of free identity protection services from ID Experts. If you are concerned that your credit history might be impacted, you can order your credit reports from all three credit bureaus for free once a year.  You can do this online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by phone at 1-877-322-8228.  More information on identifying and responding to identity theft can be found on this Department of Justice web site:  https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/identity-theft/identity-theft-and-identity-fraud

Patients who have received notification letters and anyone else with questions regarding this matter may contact ID Experts at 800-939-4170, Monday through Friday between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm (Pacific time).


Comments:  Although this press release was just issued yesterday, WWMG had reported the incident to HHS on January 12 as impacting 842 patients. What wasn’t clear to this site was whether the janitorial employees are employees of WWMG or a vendor/third-party service. DataBreaches.net emailed an inquiry last night to WWMG’s media contact, who will get back to this site with that information.

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.