Patient Medical Records Uncovered in Meth Bust
Local authorities discovered the medical records of about 4,500 patients during an Oakland, CA methamphetamine bust. Officials from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department suspect that three healthcare sites within the Sutter Health East Bay region are tied to the breach, the Oakland Tribune reported.
In a notice sent to affected patients from the State of California’s Department of Justice, the stolen patient data included patients’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, marital status, and their employers’ names.
Stealing patient records for the purposes of trafficking methamphetamine is becoming increasingly common, particularly in “hot spots” such as California and Colorado, Pam Nixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, told Modern Healthcare in an article published June 21.
“They’ll go in and by whatever means they can, they will acquire healthcare files and start getting prescriptions for meth amphetamine precursors,” Nixon told the publication.
“They’ll steal people’s identities, a lot of them, and they’ll write prescriptions for that. They would parse out these prescriptions over a long, long period of time and over a lot of people,” Nixon said.
Two suspects were arrested during the bust, which took place on May 16, 2013.