More than 1,000 patients could be victims of a health information breach
SOUTH BEND, Ind.- A crime leads to a data breach at a South Bend health clinic and it could affect over a thousand people.
Indiana Health Centers noticed this breach on August 21. There was a break in at their clinic on Western Avenue.
Several items were taken including two laptops and a desktop computer believed to contain protected health information.
This is the first time something like this has happened here. Nicole Meye, the Chief Compliance and Quality Officer explains they actually have 60 day to send out a press release.
“Things like name, address, social security numbers medical diagnosis things that we keep confidential,” says Meyer. “We had to make sure the investigation wasn’t going to be compromised by releasing any information and we also had to have time to notify our insurance companies.”
Meyer says Indiana Health Centers has already notified South Bend PD and federal law.
“We’re working very closely with the South Bend Police Department in providing them any additional information as we come across that and staying abreast of the investigation.”
Meyer adds out of the nearly 15,000 patients, 1,697 could potentially be affected because of this breach.
As far as the investigation goes, she could not speak on the suspect or suspects at this time. “All we can do is make sure we are cooperating with police and letting them know if we have any new information or if we discover anything new.”
Meyer confirms that as of now, they have not been aware of any misuse of patient information. “We have security measures in place, like password protection on all computers, alarms on the doors to help safeguard their information and hopefully safeguard from something like this happening again in the future.”
If you are a potential affected patient, Meyer tells ABC57 a letter will come no later than Monday of next week. It will explain everything you need to know about the protected health information breach and provide recommendations.
If you notice any suspicious activity, notify the police department immediately.
“I am actually working on signing those letters now,” says Meyer. “They will go out in the mail either Friday or by the latest Monday. People should hear by early next week if they were involved.”