A Sutter Medical Foundation computer stolen in mid-October held information on more than 4 million patients, some dating back to 1995, including names, addresses and descriptions of diagnoses, officials at the health network said Wednesday.
Sutter Physicians Services and Sutter Medical Foundation told Sutter Health officials and Sacramento police of the computer's theft from the foundation's administrative offices the weekend of Oct. 15.
For 3.3 million patients whose health-care provider is supported by Sutter Physician Services, names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers and names of patients' health insurance plans were contained in the computer's database.
Sutter Physicians Service provides billing and managed-care services for health-care providers, including those in the Sutter Health network.
The same information was compromised for another 943,000 Sutter Medical Foundation patients.
Information on patients from January 2005 to January 2011 included dates of services and a description of medical diagnoses and/or procedures used for business operations.
Foundation patients are being notified by mail of the theft and the damage done.
Patients concerned about their information can go to Sutter Health's website, www.sutterhealth.org, to find a list of affected health providers or call toll-free at 855-770-0003 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Patients will be asked to enter the 10-digit reference code: 7637111511.
The computer did not contain patient financial records, Social Security numbers, patients' health plan identification numbers or medical records, Sutter officials said.
The theft came, Sutter officials said, as the health network was in the process of encrypting their computers.
The stolen computer was not encrypted. On Wednesday, in a statement, Sutter Health Chief Executive Officer Patrick Fry said "we have accelerated these efforts" and are reinforcing security measures.