MEDICAL RECORDS: Dana-Farber Warns of Possible Thefts
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this week will send letters notifying some 12,000 patients that some personal information -- including name, Social Security number, date of birth, and next of kin -- may have been stolen and used fraudulently by a former hospital employee. Hospital and law enforcement officials say that a temporary patient intake employee who worked at the hospital from February until May allegedly used one patient's information to obtain $2,500 in long-distance and other phone services, and Boston police are investigating other patients' financial histories to see if they were victimized by the same scheme. The hospital is urging patients to check credit histories for discrepancies and has hired a firm to help patients resolve possible credit history disputes. Earlier this year, Dana-Farber began running criminal background checks on full-time employees, but will not do the same for temporary employees until next month (Ellement, Boston Globe, 8/8). "Our patients and families are dealing with extreme challenges. Having this added is the last thing we would want to have happen," James Conway, Dana-Farber COO, said. The former employee was charged yesterday in district court with larceny over $250 and identity fraud and is being held on $500 cash bail (Weber, Boston Herald, 8/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.