Personal Documents From OB/GYN Office Found in Parking Lot
BROWNSVILLE – Personal information, lost, retrieved and now in a Brownsville doctor’s hands.
Gynecologist Jose Nieves-Sosa said his office searched parts of the city to find nearly 30 patients’ billing files.
The files, found in a parking lot in Brownsville, contain names, addresses, and patients’ Social Security numbers.
"They were flying all over this place,” said Brownsville resident Erasmo Castro.
Castro said he was taking a walk when he saw the papers in a plaza.
"It's been really windy this past couple of days,” said Castro. “You don't expect them to be personal private documents.”
Castro notified OB/GYN Associates in Brownsville.
"What we got back from the gentleman was a little bit over 30 records,” said Dr. Nieves-Sosa.
He said an employee was transporting old billing records in boxes to their office.
"These boxes are supposed to be having a lid and being strapped closed,” said Dr. Nieves-Sosa. “For some reason one of them might have popped the strap or we don't know how it happened actually. But a few of them flew out the car window.”
The gynecologist said his team is working on finding who was affected and are taking measures to prevent this from happening again.
"We are writing a new protocol to make sure that these files are carried in a locked truck,” said Dr. Nieves-Sosa.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS went back to where the files were found. This time behind the buildings where a person claimed he found more documents.
We asked them where they found them.
“Oh no sir we just found them over there on the tree,” said a Furniture Place employee.
We called Dr. Nieves-Sosa to come pick them up.
"There may be a few more. I would appreciate it if anybody found these, just call us up, call the police, and help us recovery these so we can protect the information,” said Dr. Nieves-Sosa.
Castro said this is a lesson for other agencies to be more careful with their personal information.
Dr. Nieves-Sosa said they have fired the person who was transporting the files. They are also reporting this incident to federal agencies.
The Texas State Business and Commerce Code says a business can destroy personal information by shredding it, erasing or modifying the sensitive information to make sure it's not legible. You also have the option to hire a professional service company to shred all documents.
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