Across the U.S., healthcare organizations suffer data breaches

More than 21,000 patients have been impacted by a trio of recent healthcare data breaches throughout the U.S.

Indiana University Health Arnette in Lafayette, Ind., announced last week that an employee's password-protected laptop with patient information--including names, dates of birth, medical record numbers, diagnoses and dates of service--was stolen from a car in April. The organization indicated that it doesn't have reason to believe the information has been improperly accessed or used, but police were immediately notified, regardless. IU Health Arnett began mailing letters to affected patients--nearly 10,000, according to the Journal and Courier--informing them about the breach on May 10.

Meanwhile in Memphis, Tenn., the Regional Medical Center (MED) issued a public notice on May 9, stating three e-mails were sent from October 2012 to February 2013 that included personal information of outpatient physical therapy patients receiving services between May 1, 2012, and January 31, 2012. The personal information included name, account number, date of birth, social security number, home phone number and type of service received. According to WREG, roughly 1,200 patients were impacted.

And Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates in Charlotte, N.C., disclosed that a hacker broke into their website to access a database of personal information including names, contact information, dates of birth and credit card numbers for nearly 10,000 people, according to the Charlotte Observer.  

No medical information was compromised, and the practice has notified the FBI, who has launched an investigation into the matter. In a statement, the practice said they've hired an identity theft firm to monitor those affected. The Charlotte Observer notes that more than 1,500 instances of data breaches have impacted 4.8 million people in North Carolina since 2005. They're getting creative, too--for example, just last week; a silver-mining vendor scam in North Carolina put protected health information for more than 17,000 patients of an orthopaedic clinic at risk.

To learn more:
- read the Charlotte Observer article
- read the MED announcement
- check out the WREG article
- read the Indiana University announcement
- here's the Journal and Courier article