Identity Theft Can Happen Anywhere

Most people think of their finances before their personal information.

Your financial information isn’t the only personally identifiable information that might be at risk. Your medical records carry your name, birth date, and Social Security number as well.

Unfortunately, the news of email addresses, Social Security Numbers, and banking accounts being compromised is almost commonplace now. Most of us have protections in place when it comes to our personal and professional Internet identities and our banking information, our mail, even our pets. But what about your healthcare records?

According to the Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report (please note that you may need Adobe® Reader® in order to view the document), 91 percent of small healthcare organizations suffered at least one data breach, with 24 percent of them likely resulting in medical identity theft. Some of these data breaches, although one time events, have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of patients. Here are ten of the headline-making health data breaches that have happened so far.

Memorial Healthcare System

On January 27, Memorial Healthcare System notified almost 9,500 patients that their personally identifying information was accessed. According to the statement issued by Memorial Healthcare system, no medical records were taken.

The Kansas Department of Aging

In January of this year, a car belonging to a Kansas Department of Aging employee was broken into and a laptop, jump drive, and files were stolen. Approximately 100 patient social security numbers were stolen with an additional 7,000 put at risk. Other patient information such as Medicaid identification numbers, names, addresses, and dates of birth were also stolen.

St. Joseph Health System

In February, the St. Joseph Health System in California alerted approximately 31,800 patients of a possible security breach at three of their organizations throughout the state. While personal information was accessed, it didn’t appear as though their Social Security numbers, addresses, or financial data was breached.

Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants

In early February 2012 a stolen laptop resulted in a breach of 20,000 patient records at the Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants.

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

In mid-March of this year, a laptop containing information for more than 17,000 former ICU patients was stolen from a local physician’s office at the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisana.

Howard University Hospital

Toward the end of March, Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., notified approximately 34,500 patients of a potential disclosure of their patient health information that supposedly occurred in late January. This potential disclosure came as a result of a password-protected laptop being stolen from a car.

Utah Department of Health

At the end of March, approximately 780,000 Medicaid patients and recipients of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan in Utah had personal information stolen after a hacker from Eastern Europe accessed the Utah Department of Technology Service’s server.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

In the spring of 2012 the University of Arkansas suffered data breaches. In one instance, the financial information of a patient was sent to someone outside of the medical sciences offices. This same document, which was not properly redacted, also revealed personal information of about 7,000 other patients.

The Takeaway

When your medical records are accessed by an unauthorized person, or, worse yet, misplaced or lost, it may take months for you to find out. If your personal information is compromised now, it may be months before the affected healthcare provider informs the public, and several more months before you’re specifically notified. In the meantime, you can incur losses as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and other sensitive information is used against you. AmOne can help you find the right identity theft protection solutions. Our knowledgeable associates are ready answer your questions on identity theft, identity theft, the credit bureaus, and more. AmOne offers solutions; your call to us is free and we won’t try to sell you anything. Find out how to reach us and learn more about how AmOne can help you today.