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West Bloomfield, Detroit

March 14, 2014

Secret Service, West Bloomfield investigate stolen patient information

By Cari DeLamielleure-Scott
C & G Staff Writer

West Bloomfield and federal authorities are investigating an alleged breach of personal and/or medical record information from one or more Detroit health care systems, West Bloomfield officials say.

According to West Bloomfield Lt. Curtis Lawson, the investigation was initiated by the Police Department following an identity theft incident in the township that occurred over a month ago. The identity theft was not relevant to the health care systems, but the investigation led the department to a breach of security in two health care systems, police say.

The West Bloomfield Police Department partnered with the Detroit branch of the U.S. Secret Service after uncovering the stolen information.

No arrests have been made for either ongoing investigation, Lawson said. The U.S. Secret Service is leading the investigation, and the West Bloomfield Police Department has a detective working the case as part of the Southeast Michigan Financial Criminal Task Force.

Scott Vogel, assistant to special agent in charge of the Detroit Secret Service branch, declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

The Detroit Medical Center released a press release March 13 stating that DMC Harper University Hospital has sent letters to 1,087 patients to inform them that documents containing their personal information were involved in a security breach. The hospital learned from the West Bloomfield Police Department that an employee of the hospital was allegedly in possession of the documents, according to the press release.

The documents include personal health information, such as the patient’s name and date of birth, the reason for the patient’s visit, and in some cases Social Security numbers.

Lawson said he could not confirm the number of patients involved or the information found in the documents.

The employee’s access to DMC computer systems was revoked after an internal review, and Melanie Moss, DMC director of public relations, confirmed that the employee has been terminated. DMC is fully cooperating with the authorities for the investigation, she added.

DMC patients can call (855) 830-9731 for further information.