On Thursday, December 22, 2011 Southern California Public Radio is reporting that The UCLA Medical Center faces a class-action lawsuit in connection with the recent data breach that compromised the privacy of more than 16,000 patients.
Attorneys with the Los Angeles law firm Kabateck, Brown, Kellner filed the class action suit in Superior Court. The suit claims the UCLA Health System (Regents of the University of California) breached the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act when a hard drive containing personal patient information was stolen from a doctor’s home on Sept. 6.
The records involved more than 16,000 patients treated from July 2007 to July 2011. The stolen information on the hard drive was encrypted, but the password was on a scrap of paper that also was taken. The information included first and last names of patients, some birthdates addresses, health information and record numbers.
Attorneys are seeking $1,000 in damages for each member of the class action lawsuit. UCLA is not commenting on the matter at this time.
READ THE PUBLIC NOTICE POSTED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2011 BY UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM ON THEIR WEBSITE AT http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=465
PERSONAL INFORMATION ON HARD DRIVE STOLEN FROM HOME
The UCLA Health System is notifying thousands of patients by mail that on Sept. 6, 2011, an external computer hard drive that contained some personal information on 16,288 patients was among a number of items stolen during a home invasion. Although this information was encrypted, the password necessary to unscramble the information was written on a piece of paper near the hard drive and cannot be located. There is no evidence suggesting that the information has been accessed or misused. The individual whose hard drive was stolen, left employment at UCLA in July 2011.
The documents containing information did not include Social Security numbers or any financial information. They did include first and last names and may have included birth dates, medical record numbers, addresses and medical record information. The police were immediately contacted, but so far, the stolen items have not been recovered.
UCLA has engaged Kroll, a global leader in data security, to provide assistance to individuals affected by this incident. Individuals can call 1-855-366-0145 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) for information on this matter.
UCLA is reviewing its policies and procedures and will make any necessary revisions to help reduce the likelihood of such an incident occurring again. The UCLA Health System considers patient confidentiality a critical part of its mission of providing the highest level of teaching, research and patient care. UCLA’s concern for its patients is absolute, and we deeply regret any breach of patient confidentiality and the stress and concern it might cause our patients.
About UCLA Health System (Regents of the University of California):
Comprised of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and the UCLA Medical Group with its wide-reaching system of primary-care and specialty-care offices throughout the region. For more information visit http://www.uclahealth.org
Sources: Southern California Public Radio, UCLA
Photo credit to: UCLA Health System