Notice of Protected Health Informational Disclosure
On July 24, 2017, South Bend Orthopaedic Associates, Inc. ("SBO") became aware of an event that may have resulted in the disclosure of some protected health information for some of its patients. Unfortunately, an electromyogram (or "EMG") machine and laptop were stolen from an employee's vehicle. Once the theft was discovered, a police report was immediately filed with the Niles Police Department reporting the theft.
During its investigation as to the information contained on the stolen laptop, SBO determined it is likely that some EMG tests (containing patients' first and last name, birthdays, gender, test dates, and the referring doctor), could have been saved to the laptop's hard drive. A sample of what an EMG test looks like ‐‐ and what someone may see if that person is able to hack into the laptop's hard drive ‐‐ is displayed below.
SBO has determined that even if patient EMG tests were saved to the laptop's hard drive, the test information did not contain social security numbers, any financial information, or insurance/third party payor information. SBO does not believe this incident subjects its patients to significant risk of financial or reputational harm. However, SBO has offered to provide 12 months' of credit monitoring service to affected patients. In its notice to the potentially affected patients, SBO also provided the contact information for the three major credit bureaus (i.e., Equifax: equifax.com or 1‐800‐525‐6285; Experian: experian.com or 1‐888‐397‐3742; TransUnion: transunion.com or 1‐800‐680‐7289).
SBO takes the privacy of its patients very seriously. In addition to reprimanding the employee from whose car the EMG machine and laptop was stolen, SBO continues to re‐emphasize and improve its current training, policies and procedures to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.
South Bend Orthopaedic Associates, Inc. sincerely apologies to its patients for any concern or inconvenience this unfortunate event may have caused and thanks its patients for their understanding. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to the SBO office at (800) 424‐0367 or (574) 247‐9441 and reference “EMG Letter.”
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