EMS agency notifies patients about missing medical data

Unencrypted flash and hard drives with personal and medical information were stored in a safe missing from a SC county building since April


By Teddy Kulmala
The Herald

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A safe with flash drives and hard drives that stored personal and medical information went missing from the Lancaster County EMS, and county officials are mailing letters to patients who have received EMS care since 2004.

The safe was discovered missing from a county building on April 16, county officials say. Inside the safe: two unencrypted flash drives and two unencrypted hard drives that officials say may have included individuals’ names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, information on treatment provided by Lancaster EMS and health insurance information.

“We immediately conducted a thorough search of the building and contacted law enforcement,” says a statement posted on the county’s website. “Although we continue to work with law enforcement, to date they have been unable to locate the safe or drives.”

County officials say they have no reason to believe any of the information has been used. But on Monday the county began mailing letters to everyone who has received EMS services since 2004.

A call center has been set up to answer questions. Patients who believe they have been affected but who haven’t received a letter by July 6 are asked to call 877-509-8356 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lancaster County is urging patients who received treatment to review the explanation of benefits from their insurer and to contact the insurer if they see any services they didn’t receive.

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©2015 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

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