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Children's Medical Center Pays Federal Fine Over Data Breach

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Children's Health has paid an almost $3.2 million federal penalty after a multiyear investigation into patient data privacy breaches.

A spokesman for the facility, formerly known as the Children's Medical Center of Dallas, said Thursday that the hospital self-reported the breaches that were part of the federal investigation. Hospital administrators believe no patients or their families were affected by the loss of data.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced Wednesday that the finding against the hospital was the result of "impermissible disclosure of unsecured" health information.

"Ensuring adequate security precautions to protect health information, including identifying any security risks and immediately correcting them, is essential," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights Acting Director Robinsue Frohboese.

According to the report, a BlackBerry containing unencrypted patient info for 3,800 individuals was lost at  at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2009, and an unencrypted laptop containing information for almost 2,500 patients was stolen from the hospital in 2013.

Children's Health is the seventh largest pediatric health care provider in the nation.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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