Breach, Data Security

Patient data stolen from California medical group

The medical information of thousands of individuals was compromised after thieves raided the offices of California medical group HealthCare Partners.

How many victims? 15,727.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, birth dates, medical record numbers, health plan ID numbers, and treating physician names, as well as information about diagnoses, treatment plans, progress notes, prescriptions, referrals, and authorizations.

What happened? Thieves broke into Health Care Partners' Pasadena and Long Beach, Calif. offices and stole 19 computers containing the data. They also stole a safe containing checks and credit card receipts. The theft was discovered on April 18.

Details: HealthCare Partners said it believes that the risk of harm is low because an investigation indicated the equipment was stolen for its monetary value, not the information it contained.

What was the response? Upon discovering the theft, HealthCare Partners notified local law enforcement and initiated an investigation into the incident. Affected individuals have been alerted and offered a free subscription of identity protection services. In addition, the company has promised to work with patients whose personal information was compromised to help minimize the impact of the incident.

Quote: "HealthCare Partners understands the importance of safeguarding our patients' personal information and takes that responsibility very seriously," Robert Margolis, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We regret that this incident has occurred, and we are committed to preventing such occurrences in the future.”

Source:, “HealthCare Partners Notifies Patients of Breach of Unsecured Personal Information,” June 3, 2011.

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