1,000 Patients of es Moines Crisis Observation Center have PHI Exposed

by | Apr 25, 2018

Over a period of three and a half years, 1,071 patients of Des Moines Crisis Observation Center, who received medical services at the  operated by Polk County Health Services Inc., have been contacted to advise them that some of their protected health information has been “accidentally and unknowingly disseminated” .

The HIPAA violation was discovered on February 14, 2018, although the investigation showed that information began being disclosed on June 1, 2014 and went on until January 11, 2018. The sort of information accessed includes patients’ identifications along with Social Security details, addresses, Medicaid ID numbers, admission dates, and discharge clinics.

Using the Crisis Observation Center, Polk County Health Services supplies mental health services for citizens of Polk County, IA and is the regional administrator and governing board for mental health and disability services for the county.

Polk County Health Services knows who obtained the information and were able to determine the types of information that has obtained by them. The explanation for the impermissible disclosure of protected health information and how PHI came to be disclosed was not outlined in the substitute breach notice published on the Polk County Health Service official website.

Measures have been employed to stop any additional disclosures of personal information or protected health information, and also to stop any further dissemination of the data. The measures taken include providing further training to employees on the importance of safeguarding the privacy of patients and the implementation of more computer security protections and protocols to stop the unauthorized accessing and disclosure of PHI.

No reports have been submitted to suggest any patient’s PHI has been improperly used; however, as a precaution, all peopele affected by the breach have been offered free credit monitoring services for one year. Alerts were mailed to affected people in April and the incident has been made known to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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