Health Information Management

Theft at Portland medical clinic affects more than 5,000 patients

HIM-HIPAA Insider, January 18, 2016

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

A former employee of Portland, Oregon-based Northwest Primary Care (NWPC) allegedly stole the personal information of 5,372 patients. The employee accessed this information between April and December 2013, according to a statement released by NWPC. The incident went undetected for two years until law enforcement informed NWPC of the theft on October 13, 2015. NWPC notified the public on December 11, 2015. The former employee accessed patients’:

  • Names
  • Dates of birth
  • Social Security numbers
  • Credit card numbers

There is no evidence that the employee used or attempted to use the information, NWPC says. However, NWPC is offering affected patients identity theft protection services including identity recovery services, 12 months of credit monitoring, and a $1,000,000 insurance policy.

Reference and background checks are performed on all employees, and employees who work in highly sensitive positions, such as working with patient financial data, undergo additional background checks, NWPC says. Existing policies, procedures, and the employee code of conduct contain guidelines for accessing PHI and prohibit employees from inappropriately accessing or using PHI. NWPC is increasing its technology monitoring and employee training on accessing patient records in response to this incident. Additional technical safeguards will also be implemented to further protect PHI from theft or other criminal activity.

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to HIM-HIPAA Insider!

    Briefings on APCs
  • Briefings on APCs

    Worried about the complexities of the new rules under OPPS and APCs? Briefings on APCs helps you understand the new rules...

  • HIM Briefings

    Guiding Health Information Management professionals through the continuously changing field of medical records and toward a...

  • Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies

    Submitting improper Medicare documentation can lead to denial of fees, payback, fines, and increased diligence from payers...

  • Briefings on HIPAA

    How can you minimize the impact of HIPAA? Subscribe to Briefings on HIPAA, your health information management resource for...

  • APCs Insider

    This HTML-based e-mail newsletter provides weekly tips and advice on the new ambulatory payment classifications regulations...

Most Popular