Rocky Mountain Health Care Services has Second Unencrypted Laptop Stolen

by | Nov 28, 2017

An unencrypted laptop has been stolen from one of its employees in a theft, the second such incident to be discovered in the space of three months, at Rocky Mountain Health Care Services of Colorado Springs.

The latest breach was identified on September 28. The stolen laptop computer was discovered to chold the protected health information of a small number of patients. The types of information held on the device included first and last names, addresses, dates of birth, health insurance information, Medicare numbers, and limited treatment details.

The incident has been made known to law enforcement and patients affected by the hacking incident have been alerted by mail.

Rocky Mountain Health Care Services, which also does business as Rocky Mountain PACE, BrainCare, HealthRide, and Rocky Mountain Options for Long Term Care, also found on June 18, 2017 that a mobile phone and laptop computer were taken from a former staff member. The devices held names, dates of birth, addresses, limited treatment information, and health insurance information.

Up to now, only one of those incidents has been posted on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights breach portal. That incident, reported on November 16, shows 909 patients were harmed. It is unclear if this is the first or second laptop theft.

Reacting to the breaches, Rocky Mountain Health Care Services has been assessing its policies and procedures with respect to the security of patient information and portable electronic devices, and is thinking about incorporating mobile device management technologies and data encryption for its portable devices.

As the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) breach portal displays, the loss and theft of unencrypted portable electronic devices is still a significant cause of healthcare data breaches, and one that the use of data encryption technologies can easily stop. To date in 2017, there have been 31 HIPAA breaches reported by covered Bodies and business associates that have included the loss or theft of unencrypted laptop devices and other portable electronic devices.

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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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