Burlington, NC -- A local health provider is warning patients and their families about a possible breach of personal information after a recent break-in at one of its facilities.
Staff at Hospice Palliative Care of Alamance Caswell and LifePath Home Health notified around 5,370 current and past patients, or their next of kin, about a possible information breach stemming from a Feb. 24 break-in.
The break-in happened at the group's main office on Chapel Hill Road in Burlington.
The burglars stole several items, including empty needles and syringes, miscellaneous items, and three laptops containing patient information.
While much of the information on the laptops was encrypted, officials say emails containing minimal patient information were unencrypte; therefore the information in them could be at risk.
Police have since arrested two 19-year-old suspects in relation to the burglary, but they have not recovered the laptops.
Home care workers say there were also paper medical and billing records in the building at the time, but there are no signs showing that the thieves tampered with them.
Hospice says it has not received any indication that the information has been accessed or used by unauthorized individuals.
In the meantime, Hospice says it is improving its physical security to prevent an incident like this from happening in the future.
"Hospice of Alamance Caswell understands the importance of safeguarding our patients' personal information and takes that responsibility very seriously," said Executive Director Peter Barcus. "We will do all we can to work with our patients or their loved ones whose personal information may have been compromised and help them work through the process. We sincerely regret that this incident has occured, and we are committed to prevent future such occurrences. We appreciate our patients' and families' support during this time."
Officials suggest patients or their next of kin place a fraud alert with credit bureaus. The health provider says it is also offering free credit monitoring for a year.
If you or a family member have any questions about the breach, call Hospice of Alamance Caswell at 1-800-588-8879.
Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance Caswell