Los Angeles County

More 170,200 patients affected in previous Los Angeles County DHS data breach

April 10th, 2014

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) earlier reported about 168,000-patient’s data breach at its billing company, Sutherland Healthcare Solutions. In the recent notification it has added more 170,200 patients in the data breach list. Total number of affected patients comes around 338,700.Earlier eight computers were stolen from Torrance which led to data breach.

Torrance police department along with Los Angeles County district attorney’s cyber-crime team and the U.S. Secret

Service are trying to find the information on break in. Spokesman David Sommers said there is three class action lawsuit filed against the county and it is reviewing Sutherland’s security procedures.

Information on the computers includes  patients’ first and last names, Social Security numbers and certain medical and billing information, as well as potentially birth dates, addresses and diagnoses.

Affected patients are offered 12 months of credit/fraud/identity protection services from ID Experts. “We encourage you to take full advantage of this service offering,” Sutherland tells affected patients. “Representatives from ID Experts are aware of the incident and can answer questions or concerns you may have regarding protection of your personal information.”

In this event further, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) imposed fine on its first county, Skagit County of Northwest Washington, for a HIPAA violation. County has agreed to a $215,000 monetary settlement.

Sutherland provides services to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health. The county is working with the vendor to review its privacy and security program. Sutherland has increased employee training.

The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

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