Corporate Compliance

Clerical error results in confidentiality breach

Compliance Monitor, May 16, 2007

The California Department of Health Services inadvertently revealed the names and addresses of nearly 53 Californians enrolled in an AIDS drug assistance program to other enrollees, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A new clerk in the department thought the benefit notification letters were form letters and put them in the wrong envelopes. The department learned about the mistake after 12 people in the drug assistance program phoned to say they had received letters addressed to someone else. The department mailed certified letters to the 54 enrollees, explaining the mistake and asking that anyone who received a wrongly addressed letter destroy it.

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