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Billing Company Fined for Dumping Health Records from Holyoke Medical Ctr., Other Sites

BOSTON (WGGB/AP) — The former owners of a medical billing practice that threw away sensitive health records at public dump as well as the medical practices involved have agreed to pay $140,000 in a settlement with the attorney general’s office.

The unshredded records were discovered in July 2010 in Georgetown by a photographer for The Boston Globe dropping off his own trash.

The pile included records for more than 67,000 people, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and private medical information.

About a third of those records were from patients of Holyoke Medical Center.

State and federal law requires health records to be disposed of in ways that destroy personal information. That usually means shredding or incineration.

The Boston Globe reports that the former owners of Goldthwait Associates and four doctors’ offices will pay.

There was no evidence that the dumped records resulted in identity theft.