Skip to content Skip to navigation

Tenn. Healthcare Employee Gives Patients’ PHI to Competing Provider

April 21, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

University Urology, P.C. of Knoxville, Tenn. has acknowledged a security breach in which an administrative employee provided patient information to a competing healthcare provider for the purpose of the competitor soliciting patient business.

The information was limited to patient names and addresses of 1,144 patients, and University Urology said in statement posted on its website that the data provided to the competitor did not include any Social Security numbers, financial account information, clinical information or other information that is commonly used for identity theft.

This breach was discovered following an investigation that was initiated after University Urology, P.C. began receiving telephone calls on February 13, 2014, from concerned patients stating that they received solicitation letters from a competing provider.

Following its investigation, University Urology, P.C. responded by interviewing the administrative assistant involved in the breach, terminating any access of the administrative employee to University Urology, P.C. patient protected health information, terminating the administrative assistant, changing network passwords, and securing an agreement with the outside provider not associated with University Urology, P.C. to destroy all names, addresses, and patient information of any kind relating to patients of the organization.

While it appears that the information subject to the breach was to be used for patient solicitation and there is absolutely no indication that the information may be used for purposes of identity theft, patients may choose to monitor their credit card, bank, or other financial statements for signs of fraud and identity theft, according to the organization.



Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.