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On December 30, 2015, a laptop computer used by Valley Hope Association to store highly sensitive patient data was stolen from an employee's vehicle. The theft was reported to law enforcement on the same day and investigations are continuing, although no suspects have been apprehended and the laptop computer has not been recovered.

The unencrypted device housed protected health information of patients, along with defining personal data such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, health insurance information, and clinical data such as medical diagnoses and medications. While the laptop was protected with a password, there is a high probability that patient data has been accessed.

Reported to the Office for Civil Rights on February 26, 2016, the breach report indicates that 52,076 patients were affected by the data breach, making this one of the largest healthcare data breaches reported so far in 2016. McShane and Brady Law offices have a class action case currently pending in the state of Missouri. We are looking for other potential plaintiffs in the states of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Nebraska. If you or someone you know are a member of this class, please contact our offices at 816-888-8010 or send us an email.

The Valley Hope Association is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization providing drug and alcohol addiction treatment. The association operates treatment facilities in seven states- Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Details of the Valley Hope Association incident were taken from the HIPAA Journal, one of our favorite resources on all matters relating to HIPAA:

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