Man to admit he stole patient information from Flowers Hospital

Published 07/07 2014 03:17PM

Updated 07/14 2014 11:29AM

A former employee of Flowers Hospital accused of stealing patients’ personal information is expected to plead guilty to federal charges during a hearing scheduled Tuesday. Kamarian Millender was charged July 1 accusing him of Fraud with Identification Documents.

Federal court documents show Millender has a consent plea hearing set before U.S. District Judge Charles Coody. That likely indicates he is cooperating with U.S. Treasury and other investigators and seeking a lighter sentence in exchange for his guilty plea. A source familiar with the case but not authorized to speak publicly said Millender’s cooperation will likely lead to other arrests. He is represented by Dothan attorneys Dustin J. Fowler and Stephen Etheredge.

Millender is accused of stealing personal information from patient’s records submitted to the lab at Flowers Hospital. He is believed to have sold the information that was used to file fraudulent income tax returns. An attorney who has filed a class lawsuit claims the number of victims may reach into the hundreds.

Flowers Hospital apparently was not aware that information had been stolen until Millender was arrested on state charges in February. Henry County deputy Aaron Kindcaid claims he found the documents when he made what began as a routine check of Millender’s car. A trial is pending.

Flowers Hospital, in a letter dated April 15, notified people whose lab work was performed there that their identity may have been stolen and used to file fraudulent income tax returns. A copy of the letter made available to WDHN states the files were stolen between June, 2013 and February, 2014.

“We discovered on February 26, 2014 that an employee in our laboratory was taking lab forms containing patients personal information, and that he may have attempted to use that information to file fraudulent tax returns,” the letter states. The correspondence was dated April 15 and signed by Patti Hatcher, Facility Privacy Officer. It does not state how many people may be potential victims.

Files may have included the name, address, date of birth, social security number, and health plan policy numbers according to the letter. It notes that the type of lab tests ordered and diagnosis were sometimes shown but not the lab results. Flowers Hospital routinely performs laboratory testing for other health care providers.

The hospital is offering a complimentary one year membership in Protect My ID Elite, a fraud prevention service of the credit reporting company Experian, to those whose information may have been stolen. It offers access to credit reports from all three major reporting bureaus and alerts of possible misuse of personal information. It also provides insurance protection from fraud.

Flowers said it has taken steps to increase security even though the stolen files were in a locked area to which only employees have access.

Hatcher, in the letter, said files are now kept in a supervisor’s office that is locked when unattended and is not open to anyone other than the supervisor.

Meanwhile, the class action lawsuit filed by Dothan attorney Adam Jones is pending in federal court.

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