Thousands of health records were found left behind in a public dumpster located in Texas. The boxes comprise of patient and employee records from Today’s Vision and include documents that contain highly sensitive data.
Today’s Vision has a network of over 50 optometry clinics in Texas that are independently owned and operated. The majority of records seem to be from Today’s Vision located in Willowbrook in northwest Houston. This optometry clinic is not operational any more and was bought three months ago by MyEyeDr.
The owner of the Today’s Vision offices in Willowbrook and Tomball was Dr. Donald Glenz, before MyEyeDr bought the Willowbrook clinic in February. Dr. Glenz did not know how the boxes of files were dumped and who did it. Dr. Glenz informed KPRC that investigation of the incident is still ongoing to know who was accountable. Before any records are deleted, they are normally shredded as per HIPAA requirements. However, that was not done in this instance. Executive director of Today’s Vision, Greg Watson, said that the incident was ‘disturbing.’
MyEyeDr and the Department of Health and Human Services are also investigating the incident and the potential HIPAA violation with the help of the police department.
More than 20 boxes of documents were found in a dumpster located behind the strip mall in Tomball. This area is a few miles away from the Today’s Vision offices where the records came from. The boxes were retrieved by Tomball Police department and placed in secure storage.
The records seem to be associated to patients who had vision services from 1997 and 2013 and employees who worked at Today’s Vision Willowbrook in the same length of time.
The types of data found in the documents included names, addresses, telephone numbers, payment details, insurance data, some health histories, and Social Security numbers. The information of employees included work related data like resumes, vacation requests, immigration status, payment data, and some personal details.