Monday, June 20, 2011

Nurse Accused of Identity Theft at 5 Hospitals in Colorado

Potentially 273 patients were victims of identity theft by a single nurse who accessed their electronic medical records at five hospitals in the Denver, Colorado area.

Some hospitals only learned of the patient data privacy breaches when police brought it to their attention in May of 2011- over 5 months after the nurse finished his 8 months employment stint - between May, 2010 and January, 2011.
"the hospital was notified by the Westminster Police that [the nurse] was suspected of stealing patient demographic information from other hospitals and allegedly using it to engage in identity theft. That police investigation determined that a computer at [the hospital] had been used in one of the illegal activities." - Boulder Community Hospital
The nurse, Cannon Tubb, is accused of illegally accessing patient medical records, and in some cases using Social Security numbers and other electronic protect health information (ePHI) to open credit cards in patients' names. Tubb is awaiting extradition from Texas to face a 90-count felony indictment in Adams County, Colorado.
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All 5 hospitals are cooperating with the law enforcement and offering patients identity theft monitoring and recovery services for free.
"An audit of the hospital's electronic medical record indicates [the nurse] violated hospital policy and accessed demographic information unrelated to treatment ... We do not know what specific information may have been taken for any particular patient." - Boulder Community Hospital
As of June 18, the number of patients notified of the breach is 76 at Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton; 123 at Centura Health facilities: St. Anthony Central, St. Anthony North and Porter Adventist; and 74 patients at Boulder Community Hospital.

(a) Boulder Community Hospital involved in nurse ID theft case - KUSA-TV, June 17, 2011
(b) Platte Valley Medical Center (PVMC) Press Release - Platte Valley Medical Center (PVMC), June 2011

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