Medical files, syringes, blood samples left in dumpster at former Wilmington clinic

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington police are investigating after hundreds of medical files, syringes, and blood samples were thrown into a dumpster at a former health clinic.

Over the weekend, police responded to the former Southcare Community Service facility, a Trillium provider, located on Market Street.

At this time, police say no crime has been committed, but the facility did violate HIPAA rules.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now considering this case and will determine if the facility should be fined.

According to Trillium, Southcare focused on mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.

One man, Coley Pinkston, says he saw an ad on Facebook Marketplace for free furniture at the address for Southcare.

When he arrived, he says he saw a dumpster full of needles, blood sample tubes, medical records, and more.

“There are open needles everywhere, bare,” Pinkston said. “It’s medical waste. There’s patients’ logs in here, labeled blood samples.”

Police say the dumpster was removed on Monday.

Trillium has now removed Southcare from its website as a provider. The agency says it is aware of the situation and released the following statement:

“Trillium has been made aware of this situation and is working with the proper regulatory entities in this investigation to ensure proper protocols are followed.

All providers in the Trillium network must complete a comprehensive application process including credentialing, confirmation with Division of Health Benefits (DHB) on any existing provider issues, and onsite visits. In addition, Trillium initiates audits and monitoring activities on a scheduled and ad hoc basis.

The Department of Health and Human Services, DHB, and the Medicaid Investigations Division conduct investigations based on complaints, grievances, or evidence of fraudulent activities. Trillium also conducts reviews if similar concerns are relayed directly to us, but we do refer any potential fraud cases to the state.

Trillium’s provider investigation files contain confidential (PHI or protected health information which is restricted under HIPAA) and sensitive information about the patients, therefore we do not comment on active investigations.”

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News

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