The personal information of tens of thousands of patients at San Francisco Department of Public Health facilities, including San Francisco General Hospital, was stolen in a Southern California computer theft earlier this year, department officials announced today.
The security breach occurred after a Feb. 5 break-in at a Torrance, Calif., office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions where computers were stolen that held information on the company’s clients, including about 55,900 SFDPH patients.
Sutherland, which contracts with DPH for billing services, informed the department Tuesday that personal information including names, billing information, and some social security numbers, service dates and birthdays were taken in the theft.
Most of the patients were treated at DPH facilities between August 2012 and November 2013.
Most of the affected patients had used outpatient services at the health department’s Community Oriented Primary Care Clinics and the San Francisco General Hospital emergency department and clinics. Most of the patients were uninsured.
There were 168,500 patients from Los Angeles County health departments that had their information stolen as well.
Torrance police are investigating the theft.
The city’s health department will begin contacting patients by mail about the breach next week.
State health officials and the state attorney general and federal authorities are also looking into the theft.
Sutherland is offering San Francisco patients free credit monitoring and recovery services for one year.
Any affected patients may call Sutherland’s call center starting Monday at (866) 486-4809.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News