The medical records of Today’s Vision patients have been found in a dumpster in Tomball, Texas.
Today’s Vision is an optometry services provider with over 50 independently owned clinics. More than 20 boxes of records patients and employees were found in a dump behind the strip mall in Tomball. Soon after the discovery of the boxes, Tomball police retrieved the records from the dumpster. They are now securely stored in the evidence and property room at the police station.
The records included information about former Today’s Vision employees and patients. The types of information in the paperwork include names, addresses, phone numbers, payment information, insurance information, limited health histories, and Social Security numbers. Employee information includes work-related information such as resumes, immigration status, vacation requests, payment information, and some personal information.
The records cover the period between 1997 and 2013 and affect a significant number of patients and employees associated with the clinic during that time.
Most of the records appear to have come from a Today’s Vision clinic in Willowbrook in northwest Houston. The Willowbrook location is no longer in business and the clinic was sold to MyEyeDr, another optometrist, three months ago.
Dr Donald Glenz owned and ran both the Willowbrook and Tomball Today’s Vision offices, before the sale to MyEyeDr in February.
“We are actively analyzing this and trying to understand where these records shown in the filming actually came from,” Glenz told KPRC, a Texas news outlet, in an email. “I am unsure of the source of the records and have not yet seen them myself,” he added. “The privacy and care of patient information is a priority for our practice and this is a matter we will get to the root of.”
Today’s Vision executive director Greg Watson described the discovery as ‘disturbing.’
MyEyeDr is also investigating the incident. Dumping medical records without first properly disposing of them is a severe HIPAA violation, and as such, the Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with the police department investigate the incident.