Health Information Management

Cellphone theft results in breach of PHI of more than 5,000 patients

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 2, 2015

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The PHI of 5,117 patients treated at a physician group affiliated with St. Peter’s Health Partners in Albany, New York, was exposed when a manager’s cellphone was stolen, according to www.bizjournals.com.


The stolen cellphone had access to corporate email systems and PHI for patients of St. Peter’s Medical Associates, P.C., including:
  • Patient names
  • Dates of birth
  • Days, times, and locations of medical appointments
  • General descriptions of reasons for appointments
In addition, home addresses and phone numbers of two patients were listed in an email that could be accessed from the phone. The PHI was primarily limited to that of patients treated from August to November 2014. Health system officials learned of the cellphone theft November 24, 2014. The health system notified all affected patients, according to www.bizjournals.com.
 
This article originally appeared on HCPro’s HIPAA Update blog. Stay up to date on all things HIPAA by signing up for e-mail updates from this blog.



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