Indian Health Service

Indian Health Services folder causes data breach

July 27th, 2014

Indian Health Services (IHS) suffered data breach when an employee mistakenly left a folder out in a public area. According to the reports, the incident related information can be provided as –

  • All together 620 patients were affected by the incident.
  • Folder contained information which includes patient names, Social Security numbers and enrollment information.
  • Indian Health Service Rosebud Service Unit sent out breach notification letters to the affected clients.
  • Information was not for the reason behind the presence of folder in Rapid City.
  • According to the IHS, information is not misused or accessed inappropriately.
  • IHS has agreed to improve its HIPAA privacy and security training among employees.

The most common question heard and the one that need to be answered is: “Why was that information in Rapid City to begin with?

William Bear Shield, the chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Health board and a veteran of Desert Storm said, “I represent a community in Gregory County, 90 miles east of Rosebud, so what was my information doing up there?” He said. “Why was it in possession of an individual in Rapid City?”

Bear Shield said he asked employees at the Rosebud Service Unit why information was in Rapid City, but he said no one would give him a straight answer.

“How can I know if someone didn’t find that information and write down my Social Security number and just wait a year before using it?” he asked.

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