Rogue Employee Steals PHI of 2,000 Pointe Medical Services Patients

A former employee of Pointe Medical Services has been accused of stealing the protected health information of patients and disclosing the data to her new employer.

The data theft came to light when a patient complained to Pointe Medical Services that contact had been made by another healthcare service provider in an attempt to solicit business. The patient was concerned that PHI had been compromised and contacted Pointe Medical Services around February 11, 2016.

An internal investigation was launched and Pointe Medical Services discovered patient information had been downloaded and copied by Kimberly Hunt, ARNP, who was previously employed by the company. That information was subsequently shared with L.A. Quinn M.D., P.A. and Carter’s Ortega Pharmacy, Inc.

Hunt is alleged to have downloaded the PHI of 2,000 patients and copied their names, phone numbers, dates of birth, appointment status, reason for appointments, insurer’s name, health plan name, and insurance account type.

To prevent further harm, Pointe Medical Services took legal action and obtained an injunction from the courts against the former employee, Carter’s Ortega Pharmacy, and L.A. Quinn M.D., prohibiting them from using the confidential information. The courts also ordered all parties to return the stolen information and delete any copies of the data.

In an effort to further protect patient privacy, Pointe Medical Services is implementing measures to reduce the risk of future privacy breaches and has implemented stop loss measures and taken internal corrective action. Patients have been notified of the breach, although it is not believed that there is a risk of them suffering identity theft or fraud. Data is believed to have been taken with the sole purpose of soliciting patients to switch service providers. Pointe Medical Services is currently working with law enforcement and is looking to prosecute the parties concerned.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.