Indiana News

Sensitive Patient Information Found In Trash

4/12/2012

(Graphic by wibc.com's Joe Ulery)

Personal documents that contained prescriptions for powerful pain medication and patient information were discovered on Wednesday in a dumpster, near an Indianapolis medical center.

A viewer tip led RTV6 to the Indiana University Medical Group office building near Glendale, where she found a box full of sensitive medical documents.

The box contained hundreds of papers, including copies of current driver's licenses, patient information, signatures and prescriptions.

A woman who asked to remain anonymous said her medical information, including a copy of a prescription for oxycodone and her address, was among the discarded documents.

"Anybody can get it. It’s got my driver’s license, my name, my driver’s license number and everything. Identity theft is what I’m thinking," she said.

RTV6 alerted IU Medical Group and the attorney general's office, which sent out an investigator.

When the investigator arrived, the box was gone. A short time later, the investigator found someone in the IU Health Medical office with the box who said he was told to get it out of the Dumpster.

IU Medical Group officials emailed a statement to RTV6 in response to the documents.

"Patient information was accidentally discarded into a waste receptacle outside of one of our offices instead of the shredder in which it was intended. We took swift and immediate action to clean the receptacle and destroy the documents," the statement read.

The attorney general's office told RTV6 that the incident did not fall under a violation of Indiana’s data breach laws, but it is reviewing to see if any Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws were violated.

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