The California Department of Public Health has never had the kind of loss of medical records that it had yesterday, according to Kevin Reilly, Chief Deputy for Policy and Programs at CDPH.
“We’ve had much smaller instances where a laptop was stolen,” Reilly said. “But nothing like this.”
A magnetic tape was mailed to the Capitol from West Covina (near Los Angeles), but when it arrived in Sacramento, it was just an empty envelope.
Missing was a tape containing 2,550 personal medical records. “There were also several hundred Social Security numbers, and several hundred California driver’s license numbers,” Reilly said.
Those personal information numbers could be used in identity theft.
For now, it seems that the tapes weren’t stolen and the loss was accidental, he said. And there have been no reports of attempted identity theft from the information, Reilly said.
“This is a very different situation,” Reilly said, “because it looks like this was not purposely done.”
He also said the records involved an office that’s involved in certifying nursing assistants, so that adds a layer of protected health information.
“Part of our standards,” Reilly said, “is that we are alerting everyone that this has happened.” That includes contacting each of the 2,550 people in those records, he said.