Los Angeles County Patients' Personal Data Stolen From County Contractor

As many as 168,500 patients' personal data was stolen from a Los Angeles County contractor's office on Feb. 5, 2014 when computer equipment was stolen.

A Torrance-based Sutherland Healthcare Solutions office, which handles billing and collections for Los Angeles County's Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health, was burglarized and eight computers were stolen, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The stolen computers contained patients' personal data, including patients' names, Social Security numbers and certain medical and billing information. Some patients' birth dates, addresses and medical diagnoses may have also been included in the personal data contained on the stolen computers.

Sutherland Healthcare Solutions has begun notifying affected patients that their personal data has been stolen, and has reviewed its privacy and security processes as well as its security systems in place, in response to the incident.

"I'm not aware of another breach of this significance ever having occurred," said Los Angeles County Assistant Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell. The auditor-controller's office oversees the county's compliance with federal medical privacy regulations.

Torrance police investigators are working with Los Angeles County district attorney's cyber crime team and with the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates some computer crimes. No arrests have been made in connection with the burglary.

More Articles on Data Breaches:

Data Breach Affects UPMC Employees
Tips to Prevent Data Breaches at Anesthesiology Practices
Patients Notified of Potential Data Breach After Laptop Stolen at Texas Physician's Office 

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