Des Moines Crisis Observation Center Contacts HIPAA Due to Incorrect Distribution of Data

April 25, 2018



1,071 patients who were cured at the Des Moines Crisis Observation Center administered by Polk County Health Services Inc., have been communicated to instruct them that a few of their PHI has been “unintentionally and accidentally circulated” at some point in the last three and a half years.

The breach was first known on February 14, 2018, even though the probe disclosed that information was first revealed on June 1, 2014 and continued until January 11, 2018. The variety of information revealed includes patients’ names together with admission dates, Medicaid ID numbers, home details, Social Security numbers, and specific discharge places.

Through the Crisis Observation Center, Polk County Health Facilities supplies mental health treatment facilities for Polk County residents, IA and is the local administrator and governing board for mental health and disability cure for the region.

Polk County Health Services is conversant with the character(s) to whom the information has been transmitted and was capable to work out the kinds of information that has been received by those people. The exact details as to how the PHI was revealed was not clarified in the substitute breach notification made available on the Polk County Health Service website.

Actions have been taken to remove any additional revelations of private information or PHI, and also to remove any further propagation of the data. The actions taken contain providing more teaching to staff on the significance of safeguarding the secrecy of patients and the adaptation of extra computer safety protections and protocols to get rid of the illegal accessing and revelation of PHI.

No official reports have been noted to indicate any patient’s PHI has been abused; nevertheless, as a safety measure, all people who are affected by the breach have been provided free credit checking facilities for 12 months. Official warnings were broadcast to impacted people in April and the violation has been reported to the Division of Health and Human Services’ OCR.