New York City CVS Caremark Corp. will pay $2.25 million to end government investigations into reports that its pharmacy workers didn't properly dispose of pill-bottle labels and other items containing personal information about patients.
Employees at CVS pharmacies left the labels and other items in open trash bins outside stores, according to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services. The company also did not have adequate policies for disposing of that information, and did not sufficiently train employees to dispose of the information properly, the agencies said.
The labels and forms contained personal information including Social Security numbers and credit card and insurance information, and in some cases, driver's license numbers and account numbers. Names of the patients' doctors were also included.
The payment of $2.25 million ends an investigation into violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. CVS resolved the FTC investigation by agreeing to comply with privacy rules and submitting to independent monitoring for 20 years.