RoxSan Pharmacy has made contact with 1,049 patients to advise them that some of their protected health information has been shared with to a business associate via unencrypted email.
The notification letters were issued to affected people last month, although the incident happened on January 20, 2015. In a recent press announcement, Beverly Hills, CA-basedRoxSan outlined that affected people are being alerted in “as timely a manner as possible”. The delay in sending notifications was due to “the protected nature of the forensic investigation”. It is not obvious when RoxSan Pharmacy became aware of the mistake.
The protected health information was attached in a data file that was sent to a single person – A business associate of the pharmacy – who was employed in the legal field. That person had signed a business associate agreement with the pharmacy and was knowledgeable of the responsibilities of HIPAA with respect to patients’ PHI. However, the PHI was share as the data file was transmitted via unencrypted email.
The data file only held a restricted amount of protected health information and did not incorporate patient names, personal identification information, Social Security numbers, or financial details.
The information was regarding to patients who had prescriptions ordered between April 2015 and August 2015 and was restricted to prescription information, drug information, insurance information, physicians’ names, and patient identification details.
RoxSan has not been in receipt of any reports that suggest the data has been intercepted and misused. Patients have been told what steps they can take to safeguard their identities and monitor for fraudulent use of their information as a precautionary measure.
The pharmacy has already taken action to enhance its operational protections to prevent any further breaches of this nature from happening.