Health Information Management

WV health department warns patients of identity theft

HIM-HIPAA Insider, January 26, 2009

A West Virginia town’s health department sent letters to thousands of citizens who had flu shots between October 1 and December 31, 2008, warning them that personal health information may have been stolen by a former health department employee, according to a January 20 Kanawha-Charleston Health Department press release.

Officials identified the former temporary billing employee as a suspect in an identity theft crime that is under investigation by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

Officials said the former employee used patient data to obtain credit card information. Also stolen from the 11,000 patients were:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Social Security numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Marital status
  • Employment information
  • Insurance information
  • Telephone numbers

The department is issuing information to patients on how to place a fraud alert on their credit files.


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