Palomar Health Data Breach Affects 5,000 Patients

Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Health is notifying 5,000 patients their personal and health information has been compromised.

The affected patients' information was contained on a laptop and two flash drives, all of which were stolen from a Palomar Health employee's vehicle in February. The laptop was encrypted, but the two flash drives were not, according to a U-T San Diego report. 

The information stored on the laptop and flash drives included patients' names, dates of birth, diagnoses, insurance carriers and other treatment-related information. It also included 36 patients' Medicare identification numbers, according to the report.

The laptop was recovered by police on March 17 when a tracking device led police to the home of a person who had bought it not knowing it was a stolen item, according to the report.

Further investigation by police led them to the home of Jasmine Backer. She is believed to be tied to the sale of the stolen computer and has been arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property.

"Palomar Health takes this matter very seriously and is committed to protecting patient privacy, and we deeply regret any inconvenience this may have caused our patients," said Kim Jackson, privacy officer for Palomar Health, in the report.

As a result of the data breach, Palomar Health is offering one year of free credit monitoring to those patients whose Medicare numbers were stolen.

More Articles on Data Breaches:

UK HealthCare Notifies More Than 1,000 Patients of Data Breach
Arnold Palmer Hospital Data Breach Affects 500 Pediatric Patients 
Stanford Hospital Reaches $4.1M Tentative Settlement in Data Breach Case 

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