The Stolen Laptops - HIPAA Horror Story #27

February 2023

Are you ready for your client’s reaction?  Two weeks ago, an EZ ERISA Partner called us in a panic. One of their clients had three Human Resource employees in town visiting. They were at the local Denny’s enjoying their morning coffee and breakfast. When they went to leave for the meeting with our Partner, they noticed the passenger side window was broken and papers had been thrown everywhere. Their laptops and briefcases had been stolen, including all of their employee open enrollment data!

A HIPAA emergency?  You bet!

The first question was whether the client had a HIPAA policy. Without one, there is nothing to help assess whether a breach of protected health information (“PHI”) had occurred.  When it was determined that they had no policy, we worked with our Partner to have one prepared on the EZ ERISA site, in a matter of minutes. With the policy in place, the subscription provides for Custom Breach Assessment Services. After a few days of analysis, we determined that no breach of PHI had occurred and happily let the client know.

What’s your firm’s solution for this? How would you handle this?

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