Roper St. Francis patient data sent to wrong place

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published March 6, 2014

Roper St. Francis leadership learned this week that some patient data from last summer may have been compromised.

A fax intended for an insurance company was inadvertently sent to a wrong number on Aug. 1, according to Andy Lyons, director of corporate communications for Roper St. Francis.

Leaders of the Roper St. Francis health care system have personally apologized to patients whose information was included in a fax sent to the wrong number. (Photo by Ashley Barker)
Leaders of the Roper St. Francis health care system, which includes Roper Hospital on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston, have personally apologized to patients whose information was included in a fax sent to the wrong number.
(Photo by Ashley Barker)
He said the information in the fax contained the names of four patients along with their dates of birth, dates of admission and insurance member ID numbers.

Leaders of the health care system — which includes Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital — have personally apologized to the patients involved, Lyons said.

“Roper St. Francis is committed to protecting the privacy of patients,” Lyons said in a statement. “The mission at Roper St. Francis is to heal all patients with compassion, faith and excellence, and this includes protecting their private information as well.”

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 includes a privacy rule that “protects all ‘individually identifiable health information’ held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper or oral,” according to a United States Department of Health and Human Services summary of the HIPAA privacy rule. (.pdf)

Individually identifiable health information may include name, address, birth date and social security number, the summary said.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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