Concerning news tonight for patients of a local chiropractic office. The Nebraska Department of health and human services is opening an investigation after sensitive patient information from Chiropractic Joe Hoomany, including social security numbers, was disposed of in a dumpster at his South Sioux City office.

We first learned of the situation on Thursday, May 10th after a concerned citizen told us he witnessed someone disposing of what looked like patient records into a public dumpster, telling us something just didn’t add up… and his intuition was right.

Turns out South Sioux City Chiropractic physician Joe Hoomany was the one dumping the documents.

9 Investigates visited his office on Cornhusker Drive in South Sioux.

The meeting went as follows:

Rebecca Pryor: “We received a notification today that you were throwing away confidential information into the dumpster outback.”

Joe Hoomany: “What?”

Rebecca Pryor: “It was patient information with their names and it wasn’t properly shredded”

Joe Hoomany: “Who said that? Really?”

Rebecca Pryor: “Yes sir.”

Joe Hoomany: “Didn’t know that.”

Rebecca Pryor: “Well we went out back and we did check. There were physicals that we had seen and some other documents that—”

Joe Hoomany: “Ohhhhhh my god that got thrown away! So, what do I do?”

According to HIPAA privacy and security rules, the proper disposal method for protected health information like social security numbers is shredding, burning, pulping or pulverizing the records so that personal health information is rendered essentially unreadable.

Meeting Continued:

Joe Hoomany: “It must have been inside of a box because I’m closing the office and I must have… Yeah.”

Rebecca Pryor: “So you were the one that threw them away by accident?”

Joe Hoomany: “Yeah.”

Rebecca Pryor: “You don’t want to speak on camera and say anything about—”

Joe Hoomany: “No, It was an accident!”

We asked Dr. Hoomany for a face to face interview but he declined.

But as 9 Investigates has learned this isn’t the end of this case. Russ Fosler with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services telling us the discovery of documents has triggered a state investigation and ultimately could lead to a federal investigation.

Dr. Hoomany could be facing steep fines if convicted of violating the uniformed credentialing act.