Boulder Community Health (“BCH”) is committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our patients’ information. Regrettably, this notice is regarding a recent incident that involves some of our patients’ information.
Some of our patients seen at BCH physician clinics located on our Foothills campus received an anonymous letter enclosing copies of their medical record. The letter implies that the documents were stolen from recycling receptacles on the campus of a BCH facility.
BCH was made aware of this incident on May 5, 2014 when we were contacted by a patient who reported receiving the anonymous letter along with two pages of a medical record containing patient health information from their patient clinic visit. At this time, we have no evidence that any other information was taken, other than what was referenced in the letters. We also have no evidence that hospital records were involved in this incident.
BCH has reported the theft to the Boulder Police and the federal Office for Civil Rights (the agency responsible for federal health privacy laws). BCH has sent letters to the patients who have reported receiving the anonymous letters detailing the actions taken by BCH and services being offered to those patients. We have also retained a private investigator to investigate this incident, and are offering a reward for information that leads to the identification of the person responsible for stealing our patients’ information.
If you believe you are affected by the incident and have not received a letter from BCH, please call 1-855-287-1217. We also recommend that you regularly review the explanation of benefits statements that you receive from your health insurer. If you identify services listed on your explanation of benefits that you did not receive, you should contact your insurance company immediately.
We deeply regret that this happened. We assure you that we are committed to safeguarding our patients’ personal information, and took immediate steps to enhance the protective measures that were already in place. BCH is reinforcing with employees that patient information must be kept secure. BCH has reminded all physician practices located on its campuses that recycling bins are not to be used for the disposal of patient information. BCH has re-educated its staff to ensure they are aware of these paper disposal policies, and is conducting spot checks to ensure that the policies are being followed. We have also required our contracted cleaning company to increase its security measures and educate its staff on the proper disposal of patient information.