Healthcare Information Security

Latest Health Data Breaches News

Medtronic loses training records, alerts patients of breach

By Patrick Ouellette

- Medical device vendor Medtronic announced last Thursday that it told 2,764 patients back in July via letter that their protected health information (PHI) had been breached after a box of training records had been lost at a Minnesota facility.

The records, for the most part, dated back to 2008 and contained information on insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring device training. Affected patient data includes company data, contact information and some patient records, but there may be a small number of records that included Social Security numbers as well.

According to a statement from Medtronic spokeswoman Cindy Resman on, said that the company doesn’t believe the PHI was removed from the facility or has been used inappropriately.

“These documents did not contain sensitive or intrusive information,” she said in the statement. “For a small portion of patients, however, it’s possible that additional information was in the box, including insurance company data, contact information and limited patient records.”

Medtronic said it provided patients with identity protection services and reported the breach to the government (presumably the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) since the breach involved more than 500 patients.

Retinal Consultant Medical Group reports stolen laptop

Sacramento, Ca. based Retinal Consultant Medical Group alerted patients on July 31 that a laptop containing PHI such as names, dates of birth, gender, race and optical coherence tomography (OCT) images was stolen between June 5 and 7. posted the group’s patient notification letter from its privacy specialist here:

We are sending this letter to you as part of Retinal Consultant Medical Group’s commitment to the privacy and security of your protected health information (PHI). We take patient privacy very seriously, and it is important to us that you are made fully aware of the following PHI security incident:

On June 7, 2013, it was discovered that a laptop computer, which was a component of a diagnostic imaging machine, was stolen sometime after our office closed on June 5, 2013. The laptop computer contained the following types of unsecured PHI: names, dates of birth, gender, race, and OCT (optical coherence tomography) images.

Please be assured that information such as your Social Security Number, Driver’s License, and address was not on the laptop.

As a result of our investigation we are not aware of any unauthorized use of the PHI by an unauthorized individual, or that the PHI was actually acquired or accessed.

It is nevertheless very important that you take steps to eliminate or minimize any potential harm that could be caused by the theft. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining credit reports from one or more of the major credit reporting agencies, and monitoring your financial and banking accounts for unauthorized activity.

By law, consumers may request a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (i.e., Equifax, Experian, Trans Union). You can request a free credit report by phone at 1-877-322-8228, or by mail addressed to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281, or online at

The above matter has been reported to the local police department. While we hope to recover the stolen computer and PHI, that may not be possible. In an attempt to prevent further breaches of PHI, we are increasing the physical security of imaging and other equipment stored at our offices, increasing the interior and exterior security of our offices, and requiring additional information when confirming a patient’s identity on the phone. We are also in the process of determining how we can further secure laptop data and strengthening other aspects of our internal HIPAA security program.

Retinal Consultants Medical Group is committed to providing quality care, including the preservation of the confidentiality of your protected health information. If you have further questions or concerns, you may contact us for additional information by calling (855) 848-1335 toll-free, or by mailing me at the address below:

Chris Mentink, Privacy Official
Retinal Consultants Medical Group, Inc.
3939 J Street, Suite 104
Sacramento, CA 95819


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