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Eye Care Surgery Center Data Breach Impacts 2,553 Patients

A laptop computer containing the protected health information of 2,553 patients of Eye Care Surgery Center, Inc., of Baton Rouge, LA has been stolen.

The theft was discovered by Eye Care Surgery Center on February 26, 2018 although it is unclear where the device was stolen from. The theft prompted Eye Care Surgery Center to install a new multi-camera system at its facilities, both inside and outside buildings. The decision has also been taken to use encryption on most of the portable electronic devices used by Eye Care Surgery Center to prevent protected health information from being exposed in the event that any further portable electronic devices are stolen.

An investigation was conducted to determine the types of information stored on the stolen device and the patients affected by the incident. Highly sensitive information such as health insurance information, Social Security numbers, and financial information were not stored on the device and remained secure at all times. The breach was limited to names, birth dates, and diagnosis information. No reports have been received to suggest any of the information stored on the device has been misused.

Affected individuals have now been notified of the breach by mail and the incident has been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

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Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.