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New Mexico Department of Health warns of compromised health information

Records request released protected health information
The document containing protected health information was released as part of an public records request. (Associated Press file photo)

The New Mexico Department of Health announced in a news release Friday that some information regarding decedent health information might have been compromised.

On March 6, the department discovered a spreadsheet containing information about individual deaths in New Mexico had been sent to a journalist requesting such information subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act.

The spreadsheet contained some protected health information about every death in New Mexico from January 2020 to December 2021. The information released did not include names, birth dates, addresses or contact information of anyone.

As a result of this incident, the department urges individuals to be alert for any financial or other activity done in the name of a recently deceased person in their family.

“We have taken steps to comply with all applicable state and federal laws. In addition, we are working to enhance policies and practices to elevate the protection of patient information in the future.”

For more information, contact Amanda Frazier, NMDOH chief privacy officer at (505) 629-7648.