St. Vincent Breast Center Violates HIPAA with 63K-Patient Mailing
The St. Vincent Breast Center, an Indianapolis-based health care provider of analytical services for ladies, has informed that a clerical mistake has led to 63,325 patients getting a mailing having wrong information, containing the names, addresses as well as appointment times of further patients.
The letters were dispatched to advise patients of Solis Women’s Health Breast Imaging Specialists of Indiana P.C and the Indianapolis Breast Center P.C. of earlier reserved appointments and to greet them to the exercise.
The letters were mailed by the treatment center on May 5, 2014, with the issue coming to light roughly 10 days later when patients began to protest that they had gotten the files of other patients.
A breach notice was delivered to all affected people and the same notice was given to the mass media, as needed by HIPAA Rules and Regulations. The letter says that the data that was revealed, which did contain some Safeguarded Health Information, was restricted in nature and didn’t contain medical information, Social Security numbers, diagnoses or other confidential details concerning patients.
As some of the data is thought to be out of date, St. Vincent Breast Center has not been able to get in touch with all people affected by the violation, and in these types of cases, the media notification is provided in place of the separate breach notice letters.
St. Vincent has said that it will also be abolishing any letters that are sent back as being undeliverable. As per the notification, the center is also taking measures to make sure that similar occurrences can’t happen in the time to come, including modifying internal processes and the policies that pertain to its Business Partners.
As per HIPAA Laws, credit checking services should be offered to patients who have been affected by data infringements, even though the covered entity is capable to determine when this is suitable. In this case, as the data revealed is not to lead to patients suffering loss or damages, it was considered to be needless to provide them with credit checking services. In its place, the center has informed patients what they can do so as to check their credit for signs of a scam.
All affected people have been recommended to take benefit of the free credit reports offered by Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Though the center isn’t providing one year of free credit checking services, patients are capable to get a credit report free of cost from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies. Each is needed by rule to provide one yearly credit report to anybody who requests it free of charge.