Healthcare Information Security

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Patient information breached after office computer theft

By Nicole Freeman

- An office break-in may have comprised the protected health information (PHI) of patients at Dr. J.M. Benson’s Sherman, Texas practice, according to a report from the Herald Democrat. The incident was reported on January 5, 2014.

During the theft, computers and at least one hard drive were stolen from the office. The devices contained patient information including names, addresses, phone numbers, health insurance provider numbers, and Social Security numbers. It is not clear as to whether or not the information was encrypted.

In a written statement, the office advised patients to check their health reports for fraudulent service charges, as well as credit reports. “We suspect that it might be possible for the persons who stole the equipment to attempt to use the information contained therein for the purposes of committing health insurance fraud,” the statement said.

Since the incident, the office has begun updating its security system. The police investigation is ongoing.

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