Confidential Patient Records From Local Dentist’s Office Found Dumped In Apple Valley
CBS Los Angeles (con't)
Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSLA.com/ACA
Health News & Information: CBSLA.com/Health
APPLE VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of confidential patient records from a local dentist’s office were found dumped in Apple Valley.
CBS2’s David Goldstein reported that the referral forms from 1-800-DENTIST to Dr. Samuel Kim, who specializes in laser and implant dentistry, were discovered in a vacant lot behind the home of Carolyn Lindblade.
“We found the papers up against the block wall in the field over there,” Lindblade said.
The forms, which were from 2010 and 2011, included people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases, social security numbers and birthdates.
The information for Debra and Robert Hatch was discovered in the dozens of papers, Goldstein reported.
The form included Debra’s name, the couple’s home address, phone number, cellphone number and email address. It also had Robert’s employer, social security number and birthdate.
Debra said she provided the information to Kim’s office when they inquired about insurance.
“See, when you call 1-800-DENTIST, it’s supposed to be confidential, and they hook you up so to speak with the proper dentist and come to find out this happens,” Robert said.
The duo is now concerned about identity theft, something they went through 15 years ago.
“I’m just praying that nobody has got our information. We’ve struggled enough through the years and this is just going to hurt if they did get our information again. And we are totally innocent. This isn’t fair to us,” Debra said. “I’d like to know why. Why this was done.”
Goldstein tracked down Kim, who said he didn’t know how the forms ended up in the field.
Asked if the forms were supposed to be shredded, Kim said, “Yeah, I’m going to have to find out what happened.”
Kim said he would follow-up with Goldstein, but never did.
In a statement, a spokesman for 1-800-DENTIST said, in part, “1-800-DENTIST takes the confidentiality of patients we refer to our member dentists seriously. We do not collect or communicate sensitive information such as social security numbers or dates of birth.”