American Family Care Laptops Stolen; Contain Patient Information

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - When you give personal information to a healthcare provider, you may assume the information is secure.

But patients of one clinic are receiving letters saying their information may be compromised.

"There's too much at risk -- because someone is negligent, you may have ruined someone's life," said Ed Mylek of Hartselle. Mylek has received medical care at the American Family Care (AFC) clinic in Decatur.

A letter he received from the AFC explains what Mylek says is 'gross negligence.' The urgent care chain sent letters to patients possibly affected that reads in part:

"On July 19, an individual burglarized an employee vehicle and stole two laptop computers."

Those laptops contained extensive patient information including social security numbers.

"I don't understand why the laptops were allowed outside the business with thatt information on them," said Mylek.

The AFC website says the theft occurred in mid-July, but patients did not receive letters alerting them to the situation until late September.

"Information is going to be lost, people are going to make it past these firewalls," said Mylek, understanding the many data breaches to which many corporations have recently fallen victim. "But why give them the information? That seems to be the case with this."

The online statement from the AFC reads that authorities have been notified and there is no evidence that the information has been accessed.

Although there has been no reported identity theft, American Family Care is providing ALL CLEAR ID services to at-risk patients for 12 months.