By Jan Jarvis
Aug. 06, 2010
FORT WORTH -- In June, employees at a Fort Worth allergy clinic
discovered that the office door had been kicked in and four computers
containing patients' personal information including Social Security
numbers and birth dates had been stolen.
This week Fort Worth Allergy and Asthma Associates spent $15,000 mailing
letters notifying the clinic's 25,000 patients of the burglary. The
stolen computer database also contained patient's addresses and
diagnoses, Dr. Robert Rogers said.
"In terms of sensitive clinical information that could be taken, we're
an allergy clinic so I don't think there was anything embarrassing
taken," he said. "It's bad enough that they did get identity information
like Social Security numbers."
Since September, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
has required that a data breach involving unsecured protected health
information of more than 500 people must be reported to the federal
government. Anyone who is affected and major news outlets must be
informed of the data breach.
"The cost of doing the mailing is more than cost of replacing the
equipment," Rogers said.
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