The Greensboro resident took a sampling of the medical files to a local television station, and after their reporting, the state attorney general's office launched an investigation and announced a settlement and a fine against Prompt Med. From the North Carolina Department of Justice press statement on the imposed fine:
Unfortunately, we're seeing way too many similar incidents around the country. In my post from last month, Medical Records Keep Getting Dumped, we covered such record dumping occurring in Monicello, NY, Chattanooga, TN, and Port Lucie, FL.
Under the settlement, Prompt Med is permanently barred from improperly disposing of patient records and has paid $50,000, including $26,650 in civil penalties that will go to public schools. The remaining $23,350 will go to fund consumer protection education and enforcement efforts, and to cover the costs of the Attorney General's investigation into the company. In addition, Prompt Med also paid an additional $50 for proper destruction of the illegally dumped records.
At the request of the Attorney General's office, Prompt Med previously reported the incident as a security breach and notified consumers whose information was placed at risk. A security breach happens when records containing personal information are lost, stolen or inappropriately displayed.
Even more unfortunate: we're not seeing nearly enough similar fines levied. Let's hope the North Carolina Attorney General's Office sets a new tone going forward.
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