Police say medical patients from Norton, Virginia could be at risk of identity theft after dozens of medical records were found in an Alabama dumpster.
A resident in Florence, Alabama made a surprising discovery inside a dumpster dozens of medical records had been tossed out with the trash. Police traced those records back to a doctor's office in Norton, Virginia.
"It's concerning because there are phone numbers, birth dates, addresses, social security numbers in these files,” said detective Jerry Pearson with Florence Police. “Anyone can use them to become that person and get credit cards, buy cars, get houses in that person`s name."
Police believe the doctor had relocated to the Florence area and had taken the records with him. Part of the records contained information linked to Norton Community Hospital, but Mountain States Health Alliance says the records did not belong to them.
"It appears the records belonged to a physician by the name of Kenneth Kiser who was a physician in the Norton, Virginia area," said Tim Belisle, Mountain States Health Alliance general counsel.
Mountain States officials say Doctor Kiser was not an employee of the healthcare system.
The files that were linked back to Norton Community Hospital appear to be laboratory test results that had been sent to the doctor's office. "They are not patient records from Norton Community Hospital,” says Belisle, “they appear to be physician office records of Dr. Kiser's."
Mountain States officials say they conducted an extensive investigation into the records after learning about their discovery.
Florence, Alabama police told WHNT-TV the best part of the story is the records were found by an honest citizen and turned in to authorities. “It's nice to know an honest person saw them and turned them over," says Pearson.
A Wellmont Health System spokesperson tells us there is no record of Dr. Kiser working for the system.
We have not been able to locate Dr. Kiser for a comment.