(PRWEB) December 12, 2012
Whether referred to as electronic medical records, electronic health records, or private patient records, 2012 has been a record year for breaches of personal medical information reports consumer protection lawyer Darryl Stallworth, of the Law Offices of Darryl Stallworth (medicalprivacy(at)gmail(dot)com).
Stallworth, a former Assistant District Attorney, reports that on November 29, 2012 - Intermedix and Advanced Data Processing, Inc. (“ADPI”)., providers of technology-based services to the emergency medical services industry, learned on October 1, 2012 that individual account information from the ambulance billing system was illegally accessed, some of which was disclosed to a theft ring suspected of filing fraudulent federal tax returns with the IRS according to a news release (PDF) on the Intermedix website. Stallworth, said the breach comes as no surprise.
“Identity theft and related frauds are on the rise,” Stallworth said. For example, more than 100,000 patients of Alere Home Monitoring have been alerted that their personal information may have been compromised after Alere Home Monitoring discovered that a laptop containing patient records had been stolen from an employee’s vehicle, according to the News-Press.com. The News-Press.com further reports that the laptop stolen from the Alere Home Monitoring employee’s vehicle contained the names, Social Security numbers, addresses and diagnoses of more than 100,000 Alere patients. http://www.news-press.com/article/20121109/NEWS01/121109025/Alere-Home-Monitoring-warns-data-breach?nclick_check=1
In a separate theft, Apria, a California-based healthcare company, announced that a breach of patients medical information occurred, when an employee’s laptop was stolen from a locked vehicle in Phoenix. The employee managed billing functions for the company and the laptop contained information about Apria patients in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, officials said. As reported by the News-Press.com.
Stallworth reports that any individual may bring an action against any person or entity who has negligently released confidential information or records concerning him or her in violation of the California Medical Information Act(CMIA).
In 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed by Mr. Stallworth’s firm, against Sutter Medical Foundation after a computer, holding the personal information of Sutter’s patients was stolen from Sutter Medical Foundation’s Sacramento office.
In 2011 Darryl Stallworth also filed a lawsuit against Health Net. Sometime on or before January 21, 2011, nine Health Net server drives—consisting of over 800,000 California residents’ personal and medical information—went missing. DWIGHT WHITAKER, et al. v. HEALTH NET OF CALIFORNIA, INC., Case No. 11-CV-00910 KJM DAD
Patients who believe their personal information is being used illegally are advised to contact their local police department and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft