Indiana Attorney General continues fight for patient privacy, files suit against Apria Healthcare

Data breaches took place in 2019

                                      

Attorney General Todd Rokita is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the people of Indiana against Apria Healthcare LLC for a massive data breach that impacted at least 42,000 Hoosiers and 1.8 million people nationwide.

Apria is a provider of home healthcare equipment and related services across the United States. Apria provides medical equipment to over 2 million patients across 270 locations, including Indiana.

“Patients should be able to trust their medical providers at all times,” Attorney General Rokita said. “All Hoosier patients deserve their privacy, especially when it comes to medical care.”

On September 1, 2021, the FBI notified Apria that an unauthorized third-party was likely able to access their system. The intruder accessed millions of documents containing protected health information and other personal information. Further, the intruder accessed several Apria employee email accounts, including Apria’s CEO.

Apria failed to notify patients about the 2019 and 2021 data breaches until May 2023 – 629 days after the breaches were discovered. Apria’s delayed notification and actions resulted in alleged violations of HIPAA and Indiana law.   

“Everyone should feel protected by their health care providers,” Attorney General Rokita said. “When your private information is accessible or leaked to a stranger, you’re susceptible to life-altering threats, such as identity theft and financial ruin. Our office has adamantly fought back against careless companies who disregard major cybersecurity threats.”

Apria allegedly concealed the data breach from their consumers and failed to implement HIPAA policies and procedures. Due to a lack of security and technical safeguards, the unwelcome third party was able to access personal health information and personal identifiable information, such as Social Security Numbers, birth certificates, credit and debit card information, medical histories, addresses, and other identifiable information.  

Apria’s notification to patients and consumers was extremely delayed and unreasonable. With this extreme delay, Apria greatly increased the chance of a Hoosier becoming the victim of identity deception, identity theft, or fraud.  

Apria’s parent company, Owens and Minor, allegedly knew about the breaches when it purchased Apria in March 2022.  

The lawsuit consists of the following five counts against Apria: 

  1. Violations of HIPAA’s Notification Rule
  2. Violations of HIPAA’s Security Rule
  3. Violations of HIPAA’s Privacy Rule
  4. Violations of the Disclosure of Security Breach Act
  5. Violations of Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act

The complaint is listed below. 

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