Otolaryngology Associates of Central Jersey has Boxes of Medical Records Stolen

by | Nov 20, 2017

After a burglary at an off-site storage center in East Brunswick, NJ, Otolaryngology Associates of Central Jersey is making patients aware a breach of their protected health information.

The thieves removed 13 boxes of paper medical records from the center, which included data such as names, addresses, health insurance account details, birth dates, dates of military service and the identities of treating physicians. A limited number of driver’s license numbers and Social Security details were also included in the stolen information.

The burglary was quickly discovered and law enforcement was alerted. An internal inquiry was initiated and steps were taken to minimize the chance of similar breaches occurring going forward.

The medical records were being held in accordance with state and federal legislation, and related to past patients that had been treated at either of Otolaryngology Associates of Central Jersey’s two centers in East Brunswick and Franklin townships. All affected people have now been advised of the breach.

While the perpetrators of many burglaries are never apprehended, a suspect is now in custody. That person, Fernando Rios, 33, of Sayreville, was arrested in relation to the burglary after law enforcement received a tip off after Rios tried to sell the records. The person who Rios offered the records to got in touch with the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the private health information was handed over.

Since the stolen records were promptly found, Otolaryngology Associates of Central Jersey feels the risk of patient data being used inappropriately is minimal.

Rios has been charged with second degree trafficking in personally identifiable information, second degree identity theft and third-degree burglary. Rios faces a possible minimum jail term of 5 years.

The incident has been made known to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, but has yet to be oublished on the OCR breach portal. Mycentraljersey.com believes the boxes of files stored approximately 1,000 patient records.

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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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