Protected Health Information of 28,000 Mental Health Patients Supposedly Thieved by Healthcare Worker

Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), a supplier of mental health cure and support facilities for people with developmental and intellectual incapacities, has found documents having the PHI of patients have been thieved by a former worker.

Breach notice letters have been dispatched to 28,434 patients who got facilities at CHCS prior to the summer of 2016 notifying them of the breach.

The breach was found on November 7, 2017, however, the data thievery happened over 17 months before. The former worker was fired on May 31, 2016, with the files copied onto a personal computer after the person was sacked, as per a latest CHCS press statement.

The breach came to light in the course of discovery in a hearing case between the former worker and CHCS. No particulars have been issued concerning the type of the court case.

The thieved documents had a wide variety of highly confidential files on patients, including children and adults. The files contained names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates and kinds of services, medical record numbers, progress notes, referral information, medications prescribed, medical diagnoses, treatment plans, medications prescribed, laboratory plus toxicology reports, death certificates, discharge dates, death summaries, autopsy reports, as well as collateral hospital information.

The motive why the former worker took the files is not clear, even though it doesn’t seem that the information has been utilized for malevolent intentions. CHCS thinks the info has not been shared with any illegal people, other than the former worker’s lawyers. CHCS lawyers have also reportedly gotten a copy of the files.

As per the CHCS news statement, patients are not thought to be in danger and there are no steps that require being taken by patients as a consequence of the breach. Patients will be notified if the situation alters.

A representative for CHCS said, “Lawyers for CHCS are pursuing a protective order to avoid further disclosure of the information, and to confirm removal of the information as soon as the court allows.” CHCS is also taking measures to make sure safety is improved to avoid future breaches of this nature from happening.