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La Palma Intercommunity Hospital announces 2012 data breach

By Patrick Ouellette

- Following a year and a half delay, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital recently announced that it has alerted an unknown number of patients of a September 2012 internal data breach that may have compromised their data. However, according to the Orange County Register, details surrounding the breach are still sparse.

A La Palma employee had allegedly accessed personal information without permission, including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, birth dates and limited medical information.

La Palma Chief Financial Officer Alan H. Smith, the Register reported, sent out a letter saying that the employee had been fired for violating hospital policy, but it wasn’t clear to whom the note was addressed. “We sincerely apologize for any concern or inconvenience this incident may cause you,” Smith wrote. “The security and confidentiality of our patients’ personal information is extremely important to us. Our hospital has taken measures to protect against future attacks of this nature.”

Smith added that the hospital is offering free credit monitoring, but spokeswoman Rachel Hogue failed to explain why there was a delay in notifying affected patients of the data breach. There are too many variables here, such as the number of patients involved and whether the data was secure, to fully comment on the breach. HealthITSecurity.com will provide any updates on the La Palma Intercommunity Hospital data breach when they are available.

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