ABQ Health Partners' patient records on missing laptop

Posted at: 12/10/2012 4:33 PM
Updated at: 12/10/2012 6:16 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Some patient records may be in jeopardy, thanks to a lost or stolen laptop computer from ABQ Health Partners, the state's largest independent doctor's group.

ABQ Health Partners sent out a letter telling patients their personal information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

Lisa Martinez got the news, along with an undisclosed number of other patients. Her name, date of birth, health plan ID number and diagnosis information were on a spreadsheet in the laptop. Somebody could be looking at it right now.

"They can easily do anything with my information," Martinez said. "They can get ID or sell my information to other people. They can do a lot of things. That's going around everywhere."

ABQ Health Partners apologized in the letter for the potential disclosure of their personal information.

"Please know that ABQ Health Partners takes our patients' privacy and confidentiality very seriously," the letter reads. It also suggests patients may want to put a "fraud alert" on their credit files, and enclosed an instruction sheet on how to do that.

"This has never happened to me before and now it happens through a hospital," Martinez said. "There's something wrong here. This needs to be taken care of immediately."

KOB Eyewitness News 4 received a statement Monday afternoon from ABQ Health Partners. It reads, "The instance in question involved minimal patient information - no social security numbers, addresses or access to patient health records were released. We take our patients’ privacy seriously and took the appropriate steps to inform patients of this situation, including how they can protect their personal information. We are committed to our patients and their privacy in all of our operations."