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Fired employee steals health data from Texas mental health center

Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio is notifying 28,434 patients whose sensitive information was on the stolen laptop, local report says.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

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The San Antonio Center for Health Care Services said a fired former employee stole sensitive records when he took his personal laptop with him after he was let go.

The Center, which provides mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and services for intellectual and developmental disabilities for Bexar County, is notifying 28,434 patients that the sensitive information included the "names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, medical records numbers, dates of services, referral information, progress notes, types of services, diagnoses, medications, lab and toxicology reports, autopsy reports, death certificates, treatment plans, discharge and death summaries and collateral hospital information," according to a local report.

[Also: Running list of notable 2017 healthcare frauds]

The breach wasn't discovered until early November, although the employee was fired on May 31, 2016, the report said citing a news release. The breach was discovered during legal proceedings related to the employee firing, although the exact nature of the legal proceedings is not clear. The Center said they believe the employee and his lawyers have the personal information and have not distributed it.

Those impacted include adults and children, the report said. The Center said there are no steps consumers need to take to protect themselves, as they do not believe the information has been sold or shared, but are monitoring the situation.

"Attorneys for CHCS are seeking a protective order to prevent further disclosure of the information, and to verify deletion of the information as soon as the court permits," the report said, citing a news release.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
Email the writer: beth.sanborn@himssmedia.com

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