Local urology clinic discovers potential breach of medical information

Published: Aug. 1, 2014 at 10:50 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2014 at 12:05 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Your medical information may be at risk after local clinic, Urological Associates of Southern Arizona, found problems after a recent investigation.  In a release from the company saying an alarming discovery was recently made in May.

Some employees at their Tanque Verde and Green Valley clinics did not dispose of patient urine specimen cups correctly, possibly from as far back as April 2011 to May 2014.  A recent investigation revealed that some labels were not removed off specimen cups before being thrown in the trash. Disposing of and shredding the labels is part of company policy.

Urological Associates say they notified more than 3,000 patients that may be affected.  According to the release, there is no indication that anyone accessed their trash or patient information.  They are notifying patients as a precaution.

Here's a look at the information on those specimen cups. The labels always contain the following:

  • patient name
  • date of birth
  • internal chart number
  • physician name
  • date of service

Tucson News Now reached out to the company. They did not want to speak on camera, but they released this statement:

"We feel sorry this happened. we pride ourselves in providing quality medical care and securing patient health information is a high priority for the practice," Jackie Iglecias, Director of Operations/HIPPA Privacy Officer.

The company says serious measures are being taken to ensure this doesn't happen again.  Their release states employees involved are being retrained.  Affected patients are encouraged to call 520-344-6525 or 1-800-238-7256.

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