LOCAL GOVERNMENT (County of Los Angeles): Los Angeles County, Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health, stolen computers, patients' personal data: "Computer with L.A. County patients' personal data are stolen"; also, "Personal information of 168,500 Los Angeles County Health Services and Public Health departments' patients stolen" ....
* Los Angeles Times: "Computers with L.A. County patients' personal data are stolen" - "The equipment stolen from a contractor held personal data of as many as 168,500 patients of L.A. County medical facilities." - From the LAT:
Personal data of as many as 168,500 patients of Los Angeles County medical facilities may have been stolen in a break-in at a county contractor's office last month.
A Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, which handles billing and collections for the county's Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health, was burglarized Feb. 5 and computer equipment was stolen, according to a county statement issued Thursday. The computers contained data including patients' first and last names, Social Security numbers and certain medical and billing information, and they may also have included birth dates, addresses and diagnoses.
"I'm not aware of another breach of this significance ever having occurred," said L.A. County Assistant Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell. The auditor-controller's office oversees the county's compliance with federal medical privacy regulations.
Campbell said Sutherland notified county workers overseeing compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on Feb. 10, but it was not clear at that point how many patients were affected. On Feb. 25, the company confirmed that county patients' data were stolen, and Thursday it began notifying the affected patients by mail.
Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said a Sutherland employee discovered and reported the break-in the morning of Feb. 6. Eight computers and two monitors were stolen, he said. Torrance police investigators are working with the Los Angeles County district attorney's cyber crime team and with the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates some computer crimes.
No arrests have been made. Watt said it was not clear whether the patient data was the intended target of the burglary or whether it had been used in identity theft since...................
* Daily News (City News Service): "Personal information of 168,500 Los Angeles County Health Services and Public Health departments' patients stolen"