Kansas suing nursing home that failed to protect privacy after closing

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State of Kansas officials are suing a nursing home that's been closed for almost a year, alleging the owner did not remove personal information of former residents or employees from the subsequently pillaged premises.

In a civil lawsuit filed earlier this month, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the 40-bed Caney Guest Home in Caney was abandoned after residents were moved out in February 2017, with files revealing personally identifiable medical and financial information left at the site.

Schmidt said there is evidence of burglary and vandalism at the uninhabited building and that it appeared someone had rifled through remaining paperwork.

He argued that failure to protect identifiable information violates both the state's consumer protection act, HIPAA requirements and CMS policies for information security and privacy.

On Dec. 7, a judge also ordered the state to hold materials — including any electronic information — until the owner secures them. The judge also required the owner, James Laidler, to create a spreadsheet of all records and individuals who might have been affected.

Attempts by McKnight's to reach Laidler by phone and email were unsuccessful.