Stacks of Medical Records Found at MA Dump
HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.August 13, 2010
The medical records of thousands of pathology patients from four Massachusetts hospitals were found at a transfer station on July 26, reports The Boston Globe. The records are believed to go back two to three years and include names, Social Security numbers, cancer test results and post-miscarriage lab results. Hospital officials say they were dumped there by the medical billing company contracted by the pathologists. It is not known where the majority of the records are now. The hospitals plan to formally notify the attorney general's office and now need to determine who should be notified--and also who is legally responsible for notifying them. Clark Fenn of Holyoke Medical Center said, "This is a perfect example of how complicated the security of confidential information is. There are many hands that touch things. All it takes is one slip in that process for information to be released.''