Florida Department of Health Announces Medical Records Breach | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Florida Department of Health Announces Medical Records Breach

April 12, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County confirmed in a press release Monday a medical record breach potentially impacting patients of its Health Centers.

Federal law enforcement officials contacted the agency in February and gave them a list of more than 1,000 people who could be at risk of identity theft due to the breach, according to a report by West Palm Beach WPTV station.

The news release from the Florida Department of Health states, “Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is issuing a public notice of an unauthorized disclosure and/or use of protected health information pertaining to some clients of its Health Centers. Federal law enforcement officials informed the department they had obtained a list of names, birth dates, social security numbers, Medicaid numbers, phone numbers, and medical record numbers of individuals who were identified as Palm Beach County Health Department clients.”

The agency said individual notices have been mailed to all clients whose names were on the list with information on how to review their credit history and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

The WPTV report states that the Florida Health Department officials said they are advising everyone who has been a client in one of the health centers to review their credit history for any fraudulent or suspicious activities they have not authorized.

"We're asking them to take a look at their credit history. See if there's anything suspicious going on. They might have had a false tax return filed against them, they might have had a credit card pulled out on their name, anything like that,” Health Department spokesman Tim O'Connor was quoted in the story.

“The Department of Health takes its role of safeguarding client’s personal information very seriously and is keenly aware of how important this information is to everyone and is fully committed to safeguarding all confidential information. The department trains staff on the importance of safeguarding protected health information by requiring annual HIPAA and Privacy and Information Security training to all employees,” the news release stated.

 

Topics

News

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.

Humana Develops Medication Management Tool

A new tool developed by Humana enables the company’s members to keep a list of their medications in one place.

Four Hospitals Piloting OurNotes Initiative in 2018

Beginning in January, four academic hospitals—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Washington in Seattle, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and University of Colorado in Boulder—will begin piloting a new digital tool called OurNotes that enables patients to contribute to their clinical notes.