Providence reaches deal regarding stolen data

Seattle-based Providence Health & Services has agreed to pay $100,000 and take corrective action under an agreement with HHS that resolves potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act arising when unencrypted patient data on tapes, discs and laptop computers were lost or stolen.

The breaches together compromised the protection of more than 386,000 patients of the 25-hospital system, according to a news release from HHS. The vast majority of those were lost in a single incident in which backup files of 365,000 Oregon and Washington home-health patients went missing along with a computer bag stolen from an employee’s minivan in December 2005.

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