Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Sut­ter Health re­ported that a desk­top com­puter with per­sonal in­for­ma­tion for 4.24 mil­lion pa­tients was stolen in Oc­to­ber. The com­puter stored names, ad­dresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, e-mail ad­dresses, med­i­cal-record numbers and in­sur­ance plan names for about 3.3 mil­lion pa­tients of 22 North­ern Cal­i­for­nia providers con­tracted with Sut­ter Physi­cian Ser­vices, which han­dles busi­ness and ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices. The data for those pa­tients spanned from 1995 to Jan­uary 2011. The com­puter also held sim­i­lar data for an­other 943,000 pa­tients who sought care from the Sut­ter Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion from Jan­uary 2005 to Jan­uary 2011. Those records also in­cluded dates of ser­vices and de­scrip­tions of med­i­cal di­ag­noses and pro­ce­dures used for busi­ness op­er­a­tions. Sut­ter said it will no­tify Sut­ter Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion pa­tients by Dec. 5. A Sut­ter Health spokes­woman said the sys­tem is not plan­ning to no­tify the 3.3 mil­lion pa­tients di­rectly. “Sut­ter Health holds the con­fi­den­tial­ity and trust of our pa­tients in the high­est re­gard, and we deeply re­gret that this in­ci­dent has oc­curred,” Sut­ter Health Pres­i­dent and CEO Pat Fry said in the re­lease. The com­puter was stolen dur­ing the week­end of Oct. 15-16 from Sut­ter Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion’s ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices in Sacra­mento, the sys­tem said. The data was pass­word-pro­tected but un­en­crypted, Sut­ter said, not­ing that its data se­cu­rity of­fice was in the process of en­crypt­ing desk­top com­put­ers.

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