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From: Henry Brown (hbrownknology.net)
Date: Sun May 11 2008 - 18:59:04 CDT
Hospital admits error in handling I.D. theft
by By Glenn Nyback
Sunday May 11, 2008, 5:15 PM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y
As tens of thousands of Staten Island University Hospital patients
seethe over the decision by hospital administrators to wait four months
before informing them that a computer containing their personal
information was stolen, SIUH's chief executive conceded officials could
have handled the situation differently.
The hospital only 10 days ago began informing 88,000 patients whose
names, Social Security and health insurance numbers were included on a
password-protected desktop computer stolen from the hospital's Rosebank
billing office in December.
"In taking a look at this, could it have been done sooner? I believe
perhaps it could have been done sooner," said Anthony Ferreri, SIUH
president and CEO.
He explained that the hospital decided that before notifying people, it
chose to complete an eight-to-nine-week process to identify a
credit-monitoring program for all 88,000 patients with the national
credit-reporting agency Equifax.
Most patients affected included those who were treated at the hospital
in 2007, but 29 people, treated between 2001 and 2006 who have
outstanding billing accounts, are also in that database, according to
hospital spokesman John Demoleas, who added that all the letters had
been mailed out by May 1.
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