When it comes to choosing a chiropractor, most people are focused on finding affordable chiropractic services that can effectively treat their conditions. These qualities are natural things to search for, but as a recent incident at a Wisconsin chiropractic clinic demonstrated, patients may need to start considering security as well. The Harel Chiropractic Clinic in […]
When it comes to choosing a chiropractor, most people are focused on finding affordable chiropractic services that can effectively treat their conditions. These qualities are natural things to search for, but as a recent incident at a Wisconsin chiropractic clinic demonstrated, patients may need to start considering security as well. The Harel Chiropractic Clinic in Hudson, WI recently notified thousands of patients that their personal information may have been compromised.
Information security has become an increasingly important consideration for many medical professionals, especially given the growing role of technology in the healthcare field. As a result, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, originally enacted in 1996, was updated in 2013, and many clinics and practices have worked to stay in accordance.
Unfortunately, on Monday, January 26, the Harel Chiropractic Clinic announced they had notified 3000 patients that parts of their personal information may have been accessed without their consent. The data at risk included names, addresses, contact information, birth dates, and Social Security and insurance information. However, no credit cards, bank accounts or other financial data was accessed.
According to a press release from Leer Communication and Consultants, a media relations company from Minneapolis, MN, the personal information may have been accessed by a contracted chiropractor and another clinic employee. Both would have had access to the data as part of their normal duties and have since resigned. Leer Communications stated that the incident may have occurred on November 4 and was first discovered on November 20.
The announcement caused a brief stir among many in the chiropractic industry, which is one of many medical fields that has been affected by changing requirements for security and technology. To make matters worse, a former chiropractor in Kansas City, MO, Michael Kelly Miller, plead guilty to Medicare fraud only two days later. Miller has surrendered his chiropractic license and is expected to serve 15 months in federal prison, a decision that has kickstarted a conversation about the responsibilities chiropractors have when it comes to patient data.
Leer Communications stated that the evidence suggests that the information was likely accessed in order to solicit patients. However, they still advised patients to place themselves on fraud alert to ensure their protection.
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