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Kern County Mental Health Department discovers potential breach of private health information

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 20:25:11-04
The Kern County Mental Health Department (KCMH) would like to notify the public of a low risk potential breach of information that occurred in our administrative department in April of 2016. This was not an electronic breach, but involved a single paper document found in an office by our staff during a recent relocation and renovation project.
 
During said office relocation and renovation, a single financial report was inadvertently left behind. This report contained some information that falls under the category of private health information (PHI) and is covered under the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
 
The document in question was a single report from September of 2006. A thorough internal investigation has determined that we have recovered the entire intact report and have no reason to believe, or evidence to support, that the report was taken anywhere or viewed by anyone.
 
The information in this report was limited to name, an internal record number and the associated unit where services were provided. Since the report was discovered in a general area unattended by staff and accessible to construction crews, it has been determined that this should be proactively reported as a potential breach of client PHI to ensure confidentiality remains intact.
 
This potential breach effects only those who received care from KCMH or our partners in September of 2006. For more information, call our PRIVACY AND COMPLIANCE HOTLINE at 888-875-5559.
 
KCMH takes client privacy rights very seriously and we have reviewed and revised our procedures and practices to ensure this type of breach never reoccurs. For a complete look at our privacy policy, or links to information for those who might be affected, visit our web site at www.co.kern.ca.us/kcmh.
 
-Courtesy Kern County Mental Health Department