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March 2023 HIPAA Breach

RAPID CITY – On March 8, 2023, the Oyate Health Center (OHC) was made aware of a potential breach of
patient health information. Subsequent investigation revealed an unintended breach of patient information related to pharmacy visits made between August 31, 2021 and September 8, 2021. If your information was included in the breach you will receive a letter in the mail. Please read this notice and contact us as described below if you have any questions or concerns related to this breach of patient privacy.

As part of our move to the new clinic building, OHC donated surplus equipment and office supplies to local community organizations. On March 7, 2023, a box of office supplies including a weekly pharmacy visit report from September 2021 was donated to a local non-profit organization. The report was discovered on March 8, 2023, when two employees of the non-profit unpacked the donated supplies. The document was locked in a secured location until it was returned to the Oyate Health Center. No one else viewed the report before it was returned to OHC. The report contained a list of patients who had visited the OHC pharmacy from August 31, 2021 to September 8, 2021, along with their chart number, date of the pharmacy visit, and a diagnosis code related to the prescription the patient was refilling.

After the report was returned to the Oyate Health Center, we investigated the incident and determined that there is no reason to believe that the report was accessed by anyone else and that the possibility that the information on the report could be used for any harmful purpose is remote.

The Oyate Health Center takes this violation of patient privacy very seriously. We have put in place new internal controls, policies, and procedures to ensure that this type of accidental disclosure cannot occur again. We have trained our staff on these procedures, which include proper and timely disposal of any printed material containing patient information, and stricter controls on disposal and donation of surplus equipment and supplies to our community. As required by law, we have reported this breach of patient privacy to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

We sincerely apologize for any concern this disclosure has caused. The Oyate Health Center puts
our patient’s health needs first, and we value your trust. Please feel free to contact our Privacy Officer at [email protected] with any questions or concerns, call us toll free at 1-888-395-1209, or you may reach us by mail at Privacy Officer, Oyate Health Center, 3200 Canyon Lake Drive, Rapid City, SD 57702.