According to Healthcare IT News Litton & Giddings Radiological Associates issued a press release last week announcing a potential breach of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Act that impacted the personal health information of 13,000 patients.

The company also mentioned in the press release that the mistake occurred due to the janitorial provider at the billing company sent patient billing records to a recycling center without cutting down the records first. Officials of the company also mentioned that there is no indication that any patient information has been misused. Officials are not exactly sure about which patient files and the exact number of patient files were sent to the recyling center.

Litton & Giddings Radiological Associates is a 19-member radiology practice with seven locations across Missouri.

The Breach Notification Rule included in the Aug. 2009 HITECH Act requires HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates to give notification following a critical data breach involving patient health information of 500 or more individuals. Till date 498 healthcare data breaches have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services and have involved the personal health information of more than 20 million individuals.