Vast cache of Kaiser patient details was kept in private home
The case of Kaiser and Sure File Filing Systems underscores how patient information remains vulnerable in the hands of healthcare providers and outside contractors.
By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times January 5, 2013
Federal and state officials are investigating whether healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente violated patient privacy in its work with an Indio couple who stored nearly 300,000 confidential hospital records for the company.
The California Department of Public Health has already determined that Kaiser "failed to safeguard all patients' medical records" at one Southern California hospital by giving files to Stephan and Liza Dean for about seven months without a contract. The couple's document storage firm kept those patient records at a warehouse in Indio that they shared with another man's party rental business and his Ford Mustang until 2010.
Until this week, the Deans also had emails from Kaiser and other files listing thousands of patients' names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and treatment information stored on their home computers.