Stolen laptop at Apria Healthcare exposes patient data

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The theft of a laptop of an Apria Healthcare employee could expose health and personal information of several thousand patients of the California-based company.

How many victims? Up to 11,000 patients throughout several states, including Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada.

What type of personal information? Social Security numbers, names and potentially other personal and health information including birth dates.

What happened? In June, an employee holding billing responsibilities for Apria had their laptop stolen from a locked vehicle in Phoenix. Information of thousands of patients was stored on the laptop's hard drive.

What was the response? Apria is sending notices of the breach to all affected patients and offering them free credit monitoring. Federal and state regulatory agencies are also being contacted regarding the occurrence.

Details: Due to the incident, Apria has begun beefing up its internal patient privacy security program, including encrypting company laptops.

Source: azstarnet.com, Arizona Daily Star, “Laptop with Apria Healthcare client information stolen,” Aug. 13, 2012.

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