Breach Update: More Computer Thefts

California physician group alerts 22,000
Breach Update: More Computer Thefts
A California physician group practice is alerting about 22,000 patients about a breach involving the theft of five unencrypted PCs.

St. Jude Heritage Healthcare in Fullerton, which is affiliated with St. Jude Medical Center, reported the breach to local police and alerted the media and federal regulators as required under the HITECH Act breach notification rule. Many of the major breaches reported to federal regulators so far have stemmed from the theft or loss of devices.

The incident at the group practice involved the theft of 22 computers, but only five PCs contained patient records. Information involved might have included names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, member IDs, diagnosis and procedure codes, and encounter numbers.

The practice is offering patients free fraud monitoring services and advising them to place a fraud alert on their credit files.

Heritage had begun phasing in data encryption on its computers earlier this year and is continuing that effort, according to a statement.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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