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Patients at orthodontist told of possible data breach after burglary

This from the St Louis Post Dispatch: (HT Dan Edwards Pact-One)

A Florissant orthodontist’s office has informed 10,000 people that their personal information could be compromised because of a break-in and burglary at its offices in July…

The computers were password-protected, but savvy identity thieves could still lift the data if they pursued it,…

via Patients at Florissant orthodontist told of possible data breach after burglary : News.

The new HIPAA and HITECH laws require notification of a possible breach. If this orthodontist had encrypted his data then it is assumed the thieves cannot get the data and no breach occurred.

The law also allows for fines for data loss. To protect yourself you need to show you are aware of possible problems, have identified PHI (Protected Health Information). Have safeguards in place (like data encryption) and have a plan in case of a breach.

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