Renters find thousands of pages of medical records in former physician's home

Shortly after moving in to a retired physicians' rental home in Brentwood, Tenn., Kirsten and Don Borgeson stumbled upon thousands of unsecured medical records in the garage, according to a News 4 report.

Here are eight things to know:

1. The Borgesons asked the homeowner, Molly Chatterjee, MD, to remove the documents — OBGYN files that listed "everything from STDs, AIDS patients, chlamydia, gonorrhea, any family history with drug use," according to Ms. Borgeson — but she refused. She told them to just move the records aside.

2. Then, the couple spoke with their neighbor, who said she saw the files during Dr. Chatterjee's estate sale. The medical records were on display in open cabinets in the garage.

3. Dr. Chatterjee claimed she stored the records in a briefcase in the storage area of the locked garage, but that she allowed tenants entry  to the garage to store their belongings and access the fuse box.

4. The Borgesons, however, dispute that Dr. Chatterjee ever locked the records away.

5. Since Dr. Chatterjee wouldn't remove the files, the Borgesons rented a secure storage space, locked them up and filed a complaint with HHS. According to News 4, "there are so many records, they completely cover the base of the storage unit."

6. Although the Borgesons moved out in May, they have yet to return the files to Dr. Chatterjee, noting they are waiting until the federal government decides its next steps.

7. In the meantime, Dr. Chatterjee has filed a police report with local law enforcement, alleging the Borgesons stole her personal belongings. She told News 4 that the records were protected and, as required under HIPAA, she was supposed to keep them for 10 years. HIPAA, however, does not mandate how the records should be stored.

8. The Borgeson's attorney said HHS told them to release the records back to Dr. Chatterjee, but the Borgesons refused because they don't believe Dr. Chatterjee will keep them secure.

More articles on cybersecurity:

California health center alerts patients to improper PHI disposal
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