Judge says Cano Health must destroy Optum patient records

A judge on Oct. 20 ordered Cano Health New Mexico to destroy Optum patient records allegedly stolen by an employee who formerly worked for OptumCare. 

Issued through a temporary restraining order, the move is the first decision following a Sept. 30 lawsuit against Cano Health alleging that a former OptumCare employee emailed himself the records shortly after accepting a job at Cano Health and, along with a Cano Health manager, used the records to poach Optum employees and patients, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Around the time the lawsuit was filed, Cano Health conducted an internal investigation and fired both employees listed as defendants in the lawsuit, according to the Journal. Attorneys for Cano Health wrote in a response to the lawsuit that the company had no knowledge of the employees' alleged actions. An attorney for the Cano Health manager said his client had not taken or misused any records, while the employee's attorney did not respond to the Journal's request for comment.

The initial lawsuit claimed about 24,000 records containing "physical and mental health issues, conditions and disorders" were compromised. 

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