Computer Theft Exposes 168,000 Los Angeles Patients' Data

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The Los Angeles Times reports that eight computers containing the personal data of as many as 168,500 patients were stolen on February 5, 2014 from a Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, which handles billing and collections for Los Angeles County's Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health (h/t PHIprivacy.net).

The computers held the patients' full names, Social Security numbers and medical and billing information. They may also have held birthdates, addresses and diagnoses.

"I'm not aware of another breach of this significance ever having occurred," L.A. County Assistant Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell told the Times.

Sutherland began notifying affected patients by mail on March 6, 2014.

"[W]e are reviewing our policies and procedures and have provided additional training to our workforce," Sutherland vice president Karen J. Pugh wrote in the notification letter [PDF]. "Los Angeles County is also working with us to review our information privacy and security program and determine whether enhancements should be made."

All those affected are being offered one year of free credit monitoring services from ID Experts. Patients with questions are advised to contact (877) 868-9284.