Hattiesburg Clinic issues statement regarding HIPAA breach

Published: Apr. 2, 2015 at 2:43 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2015 at 3:36 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A viewer reached out to WDAM with concerns of a possible security breach at Hattiesburg Clinic. The clinic responded to WDAM after we inquired about the breach.

The statement is as followed:

"In January 2015, Hattiesburg Clinic became aware of unauthorized access to medical records by an optometry provider who left clinic employment. The investigation revealed that he obtained patient demographic information. It was determined that he used the information to mail letters in order to inform patients of his new employer. All information obtained by the provider has been retrieved and Hattiesburg Clinic has not received any indication that the information accessed was for reasons other than sending the letters. Patients affected by the breach were notified and the matter has been addressed as the law requires. We are not aware of any damages caused.

Hattiesburg Clinic is committed to protecting your personal information and we want to assure you that we have policies in place to protect your privacy."

This incident spurs from a letter sent from Scott Paladichuk, OD to patients. According to the letter, Paladichuk was reaching out to patients to introduce himself as a new doctor to the community.

On March 20, The Hattiesburg Clinic notified its patients that there was unauthorized access to medical records by Paladichuk.

The Hattiesburg Clinic letter states that it is possible while Paladichuk was copying demographic information for his letter, that he may have also viewed medical information.

The letter says that the clinic has not received any indication that the information accessed by Paladichuk was used for anything other than sending announcement letters.

Paladichuk is no longer in possession of any medical information and also no longer works for Hattiesburg Clinic.

Hattiesburg Clinic issued an apology to patients, and urged that all necessary steps were taken to rectify the situation, including formally notifying the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To view the letter sent from Paladichuk, click here.

To view the apology issued by Hattiesburg Clinic, click here.

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