Rhode Island hospital to pay $150K for past data breach

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A Rhode Island hospital must pay $150,000 after a data breach compromised more than 12,000 Massachusetts residents' personal information.

Patients' names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, exam dates, physicians' names and ultrasound images were compromised in November 2012, according to a Massachusetts release. In 2011, the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island shipped 19 unencrypted back-up tapes to its parent company's office in order to be eventually archived. The tapes contained the personal and health information of more than 12,000 Massachusetts residents.

The hospital and its parent company, Care New England Health System, didn't realize the tapes were never delivered and were missing until almost a year later. The breach itself wasn't reported for several months.

The $150,000 will go toward attorney fees, a civil penalty and education on protecting personal and health information.

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