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Delaware's Beebe Healthcare recently began notifying approximately 1,900 patients that a temporary contractor may have inappropriately accessed their personal and medical information (h/t Becker's Hospital Review).
Beebe learned on December 27, 2013 that the contractor had been arrested for "incidents related to identity theft" four years earlier. The contractor had worked at Beebe Internal Medicine in Lewes, Beebe Family Practice in Millville, and Beebe Pulmonary Associates since August of 2013.
The company told WBOC-TV that a co-worker became suspicious after the contractor didn't show up for work for several days, and that the contractor's "whereabouts are still unknown but she is removed completely from the system."
According to Beebe, the contractor had access to patients' names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, health insurance information and clinical information.
"Based on our investigation and the work of the national forensic experts, we have no evidence that patient information was removed from Beebe or has been used inappropriately in any way," the company said in a statement. "Although the staffing agency with whom we contracted performs background checks on all applicants, the report did not reflect any potential criminal activity for this individual."
Patients with questions are advised to contact Beebe at (866) 264-1054.
"We deeply regret any inconvenience this has caused our patients," the company said. "To prevent this from happening in the future, we are performing our own background checks of all staffing agency employees and will no longer rely on staffing agencies to do so."
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