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Beverly Hills, CA-based RoxSan Pharmacy has notified 1,049 patients that some of their protected health information has been disclosed to a business associate via unencrypted email.
The notification letters were mailed to affected individuals last month, although the incident occurred on January 20, 2015. In a recent press release, RoxSan explained that affected individuals are being notified in “as timely a manner as possible”. The delay in issuing notifications was due to “the protected nature of the forensic investigation”. It is unclear when RoxSan Pharmacy became aware of the error.
The protected health information was included in a data file that was sent to a single individual – A business associate of the pharmacy – who worked in the legal field. That individual had signed a business associate agreement with the pharmacy and was aware of the responsibilities of HIPAA with respect to patients’ PHI. However, the PHI was exposed as the data file was sent via unencrypted email.
The data file only contained a limited amount of protected health information and did not include patient names, personal identification information, Social Security numbers, or financial information.
The information related to patients who had prescriptions filled between April 2015 and August 2015 and was limited to prescription information, drug information, insurance information, physicians’ names, and patient identification numbers.
RoxSan has not received any reports that suggest the information has been intercepted and misused. Patients have been advised of the steps they can take to protect their identities and monitor for fraudulent use of their information as a precaution.
The pharmacy has already taken steps to improve its operational protections to prevent any further breaches of this nature from occurring.