FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - All patients who received care through the Martin Army Community Hospital healthcare system, are alerted that a possible HIPAA breach occurred at Fort Benning, GA, between January 2011 and December 2013.
The breach was discovered after the hospital was alerted of undetected criminal activity involving identity theft by an employee in the laboratory shipping section.
The employee was removed from employ in January 2014, has been tried and is serving time for the crime.
As a member of a large tax fraud ring, filing fraudulent tax returns with the IRS through information gained from discarded lab specimen labels, the employee randomly took PHI (protected health information) and PII (protected Identifiable information), such as name, date of birth and social security numbers.
It is unknown how many labels were taken and how much information was used.
The hospital was notified by law enforcement in January 2014. After an extensive investigation of computers, and computer systems, the Criminal Investigation Division did not detect the employee taking information from the electronic health record.
Neither the Department of Justice nor the Internal Revenue Service, which were the primary agencies conducting the investigation, can release the names to U.S. Army officials for proper PHI breach notification.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has contacted those affected by fraudulent tax filings. Letters are being mailed to all patients seen at the hospital between January and April 2013.
The Army Medical Department Activity expresses deep compassion to those affected by these actions. Please call the MEDCOM Hotline at 1-800-984-8523, 24/7 for further information or any questions.
If any patient feels they were the victim of identity theft through fraudulent tax returns, please contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 or www.irs.gov
If you believe you are a victim of Tax Related Identity Theft, you are encouraged to review IRS Publication 4535. Within that publication, you are instructed to make multiple contacts to include: filing a police report, contacting the FTC and contacting the credit bureaus. You are also encouraged to file IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
It's important that you submit either Form 14039 or a police report (not both) to the IRS victim assistance unit. This enables the IRS to begin working to resolve your tax account. This could include a special indicator being placed on your tax account. If you submit a Form 14039, please follow
the filing instructions on the Form 14039 to avoid unnecessary delays. It is important to note that neither local law enforcement nor CI can submit a Form 14039 on your behalf.