CHCS Employee Believed to Have Stolen PHI of 28,000 Subscribers

by | Dec 9, 2017

A provider of mental health treatment and support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Center for Health Care Services (CHCS),  has foudn that documents containing the protected health information of patients have been illegally taken by a former member of staff.

Breach notification letters have been issued to 28,434 patients who received services at San Antonio-based CHCS prior to the summer of 2016 telling them of the breach.

The breach was only found on November 7, 2017, but the data theft happened more than 17 months ago. The former member of staff was terminated on May 31, 2016, with the data downloaded onto a personal computer after they were fired, according to a recent CHCS announcement.

The breach was found during discovery in a litigation case between the former member of staff and CHCS. No details have been made public about the nature of the litigation.

The stolen documents included a wide range of highly sensitive information on patients, including adults and children. Names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates and types of services, medical details, referral information, progress notes, medical diagnoses, medications prescribed, treatment plans, laboratory and toxicology reports, death certificates, autopsy reports, discharge dates, death summaries and collateral hospital information were among the data taken.

The driving factor for the former employee taking  the data is unclear, although it does not appear that the information has been used for malicious aims. CHCS believes the data has not been shared with any unauthorized people, other than the former employee’s attorneys. CHCS attorneys have also reportedly took a copy of the data.

According to the CHCS news release, patients are not believed to be at risk and there are no actions that need to be taken by patients as a result of the breach. Patients will be informed if the situation changes.

A CHCS statement said, “Attorneys for CHCS are seeking a protective order to prevent further disclosure of the information, and to verify deletion of the information as soon as the court permits.”

CHCS is also taking measures to ensure security is enhanced to stop future breaches of this nature from happening.

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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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