Children’s Medical Center Pays Federal Fine for Data Privacy Breach

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The Children’s Medical Center in Dallas recently paid a federal penalty of nearly $3.2 million. Federal officials assessed the fine for two breaches of security that resulted in a multi-year investigation. CBS DFW reports that the Children’s Medical Center self-reported the incidents and voluntarily gave all of the information to the government. They say that to their knowledge; the breach did not negatively impact any patients.

CBS DFW writes that in 2009, a Blackberry phone containing access to data on 3,800 patients was lost at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The second breach came in 2013 when “an unencrypted laptop containing information for almost 2,500 patients was stolen from the hospital.” 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights fined the hospital, saying that “ensuring adequate security precautions to protect health information, including identifying any security risks and immediately correcting them, is essential.”

NBC DFW reports that a spokesperson for the Children’s Medical Center said that the institution decided to pay the fine instead of contesting it because of the cost and time that would go into fighting the penalty. They said they didn’t want to further distract themselves from their “mission to make life better for children.”