Western Washington Medical has PHI of 842 Patients Exposed

by | Feb 9, 2018

Western Washington Medical  experienced a PHI breach when the protected health information of 842 patients of Group was exposed in November 2017 after files including sensitive health information were disposed, in error, with normal rubbish.

On November 13, 2017, the janitorial service supplier employed by the medical organization emptied shredding bins with regular rubbish. Instead of sensitive documents being completely destroyed in line with HIPAA Rules, they were emptied into regular rubbish bins. Western Washington Medical Group found the mistake the next day, but too late to rescue the documents as the rubbish had already been collected and brought to landfill sites for disposal.

The breach was restricted, but patients affected have had a range of sensitive data exposed including names, addresses, medical treatment forms, diagnoses, medical histories, appointment details, and health insurance billing data.

Patients affected by the HIPAA violation had previously attended WWMG Orthopedic, Sports and Spine centers for medical services. Notification correspondence was sent to all affected patients by first class mail on January 12, 2018.

The paperwork could possibly have been obtained by unauthorized people although the danger to patients is thought to be low. No reports have been submitted that suggest any PHI has been improperly used. However, despite the low level of danger and as a precautionary measure, affected patients have been offered free identity theft protection services for one year through ID Experts.

Janitorial workers have received additional training training to avoid privacy breaches from occurring going forward.

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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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