Breach, Data Security

Stolen laptop compromises more than 12,000 New Mexico patients

A laptop stolen from the office of a New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants (NMOHC) employee may have led to a compromise of unsecured protected health information (PHI) for more than 12,000 individuals.

How many victims? 12,354, as reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 

What type of personal information? Names, dates of birth and, in some cases addresses, diagnostic results or information related to treatment, and insurance information. 

What happened? A laptop containing unsecured PHI was stolen from a NMOHC employee's office.

What was the response? Patients affected in the breach will be notified. The matter has been reported to the local police department. NMOHC is increasing physical security safeguards, as well as implementing additional security safeguards on all laptops, and is strengthening its internal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security program.

Details: NMOHC discovered the laptop was missing on Nov. 13, 2013. NMOHC is not aware of any access or misuse of the PHI.

Source:, “HIPAA Security Breach,” Dec. 31, 2013.

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