Accelerated Urgent Care doctor claims contractor took medical records from room

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A doctor for Accelerated Urgent Care said that a contractor painting a room full of medical records removed the files and threw them away in a dumpster.

The City of Bakersfield has removed the dumpster that contained hundreds of medical records from the parking lot of Bakersfield College.

23ABC found the medical records dumped inside a public recycling bin Thursday afternoon.

The records had photo copies of drivers licenses and Social Security numbers.

The records say they are from the Concentra Urgent Care that used to be on Stockdale Highway.

23ABC tried to contact their offices on Thursday but we received no answer, and their offices appeared to be empty.

"We tried to go there about six months ago and there was a sign that said to go to a different urgent care," said Teresa Lundy, a former Concentra patient.

Federal law protects medical records and all files are supposed to be confidential. Besides the medical information, there is also enough on the records to have a person's identity stolen.

All patients 23ABC was about to get into contact with said they will be getting an attorney to deal with the issue.

"At first I was shocked, but now I am getting to the point of anger," said patient Stephanie Lugo.

On Friday, 23ABC spoke with Accelerated Urgent Care and spoke with Dr. Erickson who said, "Concentra dropped the files off to them months ago. The files were kept in a locked room."

Erickson said that the files were removed from a locked room by a contractor.

Erickson said that the contractor was not told to remove the boxes from the room, but had access to the room, because he was painting in the room.

Erickson said that the contractor dumped the boxes in the dumpster and claims that the contractor may have upwards of 10 more boxes in his possession.

23ABC asked Erickson why there wasn't an employee watching over the files while the room was being painted, and Erickson said, "That's an impossible request."

23ABC spoke with Kevin Barnes of the City of Bakersfield Solid Waste Division who said that they pulled the dumpsters late Thursday afternoon and kept them behind a locked fence overnight. The files have been destroyed today, according to Barnes.

23ABC arrived at BC Friday morning and saw that the dumpsters that were containing the medical records are no longer on site.

23ABC spoke with Dr. W. Tom Fogarty, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Concentra who said that they sold the practice in February 2013 to a local occupational medical provider.
 
Fogarty said they confirmed that they had transferred all of the records and the records were the local occupational medical provider's responsibility. 
 
When asked about the identity of the local provider, Ross McLerran who is the media relations person for Humana, said that due to contractual obligations he cannot release that name.
 
Fogarty said they haven't had possession of the records for over a year now.
 
Fogarty said that they were saddened that people's information got out.
 
How to protect your identity:
 
-Place fraud alert
-Order your credit reports
-Create an identity theft report
 
For more information, click here .
 
 
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