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Here for you and our community, Palo Verde Hospital is focused on full-service, professional and compassionate care. From Intensive Care to Imaging, ER to General Medical Services. We're here for you, for your family, for our community - 24 hours a day.
October 9, 2014
RE: SUBSTITUTE NOTICE OF BREACH OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
To Our Former Patients:
Palo Verde Hospital District (“PVHD”) is providing this notice as part of its commitment to patient privacy and as required by law. We became aware of a breach of part of protected personal health information in late December, 2013, when documents containing this information were produced by attorneys for former PVHD senior administrators, Peter Klune, Dennis Rutherford and Tara Barth, in a lawsuit which they filed against Palo Verde related to their employment. This information was produced as evidence in the administrators’ case against Palo Verde. It appears that most of the health information taken by the former administrators is from the approximate time period of 2010 to 2012. The types of protected personal health information taken included full names, social security numbers, birthdates, home addresses, patient account numbers, and diagnosis and disability codes.
Although we do not know exactly how your personal health information was taken, as soon as this was discovered, it was brought to the attention of the attorneys for Klune, Rutherford and Barth as a violation of your rights and federal law. This was also brought to the attention of the Court to ensure there is no further disclosure of protected personal health information, that all information taken is returned and that none of this information is retained by the former employees or their attorneys. The Court issued an order precluding any further access to this information, and ordered return to the District of all of the original data containing the protected personal health information.
We consider this breach to be a very serious matter and conducted an investigation as to how it occurred. We have reviewed our existing records management procedures and systems to prevent future unauthorized access of patient records. Our goal is to maintain our long record of successfully protecting confidential patient information.
Chief Executive Officer