When PHI Is Stolen
Reasonable steps to limit damage from protential misuse of PHI.
The PHI of 57,000 patients was stolen from an Arizona managed carecompany June 29, when someone stole a safe containing backup data, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The safe belonged to Arizona Biodyne, a Phoenix company that manages behavioral health for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and contained records that included patients' Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and partial treatment histories. In addition, the stolen data included Social Security and tax identification numbers of some physicians and other medical workers.
It's unclear whether the thief knew what the data tapes contained, reported the AP.
Arizona Biodyne recently began notifying customers. Biodyne spokeswoman Erin Somers said it took the company more than a week to begin notifying patients because of the extent of data on the backup tapes.
Biodyne set up a toll-free number and e-mail address to answer questions from people whose information was stolen. However, the company didn't make the number or e-mail address public, saying it didn't want to be flooded with questions from people not at risk. According to the AP,
Somers said letters had been sent out to all affected customers and healthcare providers.