Health insurance

Data breaches due to unauthorized access

March 23rd, 2017

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System recently announced data breach which affected over 2,700 patients. The incident occurred due to unauthorized access over a three-year period between January 3, 2014 and January 10, 2017.

Facility conducted investigation which found out that employees of community physician groups, and an employee of a contracted vendor had access to patient records without proper explanation. Concerned employees are terminated.

“As part of the health system’s partnership with community physicians, access is provided to their practices so they can view the medical records of their patients who are referred to the VCU Health System for care and treatment. Access also is provided to certain contracted vendors who provide medical equipment to patients for continuity of care at discharge from the hospital.”

Affected information included patient names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, health care providers, visit dates and Social Security numbers.

Facility is providing one year of free credit monitoring.

Second incident involves Tarleton Medical who announced data breach recently. Incident involves unauthorized access of a data server containing PHI from patient medical records.

Affected information included patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and healthcare claims information.

Facility did not mention number of individuals affected. As per the OCR reporting tool, incident affected 3,929 individuals.

“We have taken steps to enhance the security of TM patient information to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” the healthcare organization explained in its notification letter.

Tarleton Medical contacted FBI. It is also offering patients free access to a credit monitoring service for one year.

As per the statement, it advised patients to follow below guidelines:

You can follow the recommendations on the following page to protect your personal information. You can also contact ID Experts with any questions Please note that the deadline to enroll is three months following the date of this letter. To receive the aforementioned services, you must be over the age of 18, have established credit in the U.S., have a Social Security number in your name, and have a U.S. residential address associated with your credit file. Your services start on the date that you enroll in the services and can be used at any time thereafter for 12 months following  enrollment.

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Healthfirst suffers data breach due to cyber attack

July 29th, 2015

Healthfirst’s online portal was attacked by cyber criminals. The health insurance company is notifying approximately 5,300 individuals that their PHI may have been compromised.  No Social Security information was disclosed in the data breach.

Healthfirst was first informed that it was a victim of fraud by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and from there prosecuted the perpetrator and continued a joint investigation with the DOJ. After the investigation, the two organizations discovered that the culprit who also gained access to Healthfirst records, and that a PHI data breach had occurred.

Affected information includes patient names, dates of birth, addresses, health insurance plan information, description of missing services, physician numbers, Healthfirst member ID numbers, patient ID numbers, Medicare and Medicaid ID numbers, claim numbers, and diagnosis codes.

Healthfirst also notified the proper government channels such as the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Healthfirst is also taking preventative measures to keep this from happening in the future which includes revising its security policies and its online portal securities.

According to the statement:

“Healthfirst sincerely regrets that this incident occurred,” the company said in its statement. “Healthfirst takes the privacy and security of its members’ health information very seriously. Healthfirst values the trust its members have placed in it as their health plan and it is Healthfirst’s priority to reassure its members that it is taking steps to ensure its members’ information is protected.”

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken the necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Two computers stolen from Arkansas Blue Cross

July 21st, 2015

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield members sent out potential data breach notification letters after its computers were stolen. Computers belonged to Treat Insurance Agency, which solicits applications from individuals for insurance coverage through multiple insurers which includes Arkansas Blue Cross.  ABCBS did not reveal the details of information present on the computers.

“Treat Insurance Agency very much regrets that theft from their offices has affected Arkansas Blue Cross members and applicants,” Arkansas Blue Cross Senior Vice President Ron DeBerry said in a statement.

“To reduce the risks that any similar thefts might affect our valuable customers, we will request independent insurance agents to protect their computer records by using encryption

technology on all computers storing any applications for Arkansas Blue Cross.”

The computers contained sensitive information of 560 Arkansas Blue Cross applicants. According to the reports, affected individuals by this incident will receive one year of complimentary identity protection services. The details of the theft are not known.

“The notification required by this section shall be made after the law enforcement agency determines that it will not compromise the investigation,” the legislation states. “Notification under this section is not required if after a reasonable investigation the person or business determines that there is no reasonable likelihood of harm to customers.”

As the device is stolen, ABCBS explained that there is no way to determine if an unauthorized person attempted to access the patient information. Also, it did not specify if the stolen computers were encrypted.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken the necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

 

Orlando Health suffers potential data breach

July 2nd, 2015

Orlando Health employee accessed 3,200 patient medical records which were out of job responsibilities. The incident has caused a potential health data breach at Orlando Health. The breach was discovered during routine patient record access audit.

According to the company statement, nursing assistant had inappropriately accessed patient records which includes patient names, dates of birth, addresses, medications, medical tests and results, other clinical information, and the last four digits of Social Security Numbers.

There were also “a limited number of patients” who may have had their insurance information accessed as well, Orlando Health reported.

The employee has since been terminated along with revoking all the access.

“We are continually evaluating and modifying our practices and the practices of our employees to enhance the security and privacy of all confidential and protected health information entrusted to us,” the statement read. “We are also re-educating our workforce members and increasing our already vigilant program of auditing and monitoring of patient record access.”

Orlando Health mentioned that only certain patients treated at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and a limited number of patients treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, from January 2014 to May 2015, potentially had their information accessed.

“We take this incident very seriously, and we are committed to protecting patients’ health and personal information,” Orlando Health Corporate Director of Compliance and Information Security Steve Stallard said in a statement. “We deeply regret any concern or inconvenience this may cause our patients or their family members.”

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken the necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

 

Potential PHI exposure due to phishing scam

March 29th, 2015

Children National Health System (Children’s National) employees fell victim to phishing scam which led to potential PHI breach for some patients. According to the reports, hackers could have gained access to PHI from the employee’s email account. The affected information includes names, addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers. Moreover, clinical information such as diagnoses, treatment received, medical record numbers, medical service codes or health insurance information, were also potentially accessed. Few records also included Social Security Numbers.

“We reported the phishing attack to federal law enforcement and continue to work with them in their investigation,” the statement read. “Importantly, neither patient charts nor our electronic medical records system were compromised. Only the discrete information contained in the email accounts was potentially affected.”

After the incident, the company is training the employees to handle the suspicious emails. The facility has enhanced its existing technical safeguards and a review of systems is underway.

According to the statement:

We have no evidence that this information in the emails has been misused or even accessed. However, in an abundance of caution, we began sending letters to affected patients on February 24, 2015, and have established a dedicated call center to answer questions patients may have.

We recommend that affected patients regularly review the explanation of benefits statement that they receive from their health insurer. If you identify services listed on your explanation of benefits that you did not receive, please immediately contact your insurer.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Florida Hospital Employees compromise Patient PHI

March 21st, 2015

Two employees are terminated allegedly for printing documents which contained patients’ information. According to the Florida hospital, it was outside their normal job routines.  The affected count is 9000 patients. The employees printed patient facesheets, which are summary cover sheet to a patient’s medical record.

The affected information includes patients’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, emergency contact information, health insurance information and certain health information such as physician names and diagnoses.

The incident affected below hospitals:

  • Florida Hospital Orlando
  • Florida Hospital Altamonte
  • Florida Hospital Apopka
  • Florida Hospital East Orlando
  • Florida Hospital Kissimmee
  • Celebration Health
  • Winter Park Memorial Hospital
  • Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children

“This incident should not be a reflection of the collective workforce at Florida Hospital, who work tirelessly to provide the highest quality of care and protect patients’ rights,” Florida Hospital spokeswoman Samantha Kearns O’Lenick told the news source.

Florida hospital mentioned that till now there is no evidence of information being misused. Hospital has set up a dedicated call center to answer individual’s questions or concerns.

“We deeply apologize for the inconvenience this may cause our patients,” the statement read. “Rest assured, we investigated the matter internally and have taken measures to ensure this type of incident does not occur again by continuing to enhance security safeguards and reinforcing education with our staff on the importance of handling patient information.”

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11M affected by Premera Health data breach

March 11th, 2015

Sophisticated cyber attack on Premera Blue Cross leads to health data breach affecting 11 million individuals. Company discovered data breach on Jan 29, 2015. Affected entities involve Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and the health insurer’s affiliate brands Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc. Also, members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans who sought treatment in Washington or Alaska were also affected by the cyber attack.

The breached information includes Applicants and members’ names, dates of birth, email addresses, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information.

“Individuals who do business with us and provided us with their email address, personal bank account number or social security number are also affected,” according to the Premera statement. “The investigation has not determined that any such data was removed from our systems.  We also have no evidence to date that such data has been used inappropriately.”

According to the statement, letters will be sent to affected individuals, and two years of free credit monitoring and identity protection services will also be offered to those applicants and members.

“As much as possible, we want to make this event our burden, not yours, by making services available to protect you and your information moving forward,” Roe said. “All of us here at Premera have been affected by this attack and we understand and share your concerns. Please know that we’re committed to making sure you get the tools and assistance you need to help protect you.”

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

8.8 To 18.8M Individuals affected by data breach

February 22nd, 2015

The recent revelation by Anthem was the continuation of previous data breach which was caused by hacking incident. Anthem, Inc spokesperson stated that anywhere from 8.8 million to 18.8 million non-customers could be impacted. The affected information included names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment data that may have included income information.

Credit card information, bank account numbers or other financial data were not affected. Anthem is a member of an independently run Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) national network and runs the BCBS healthcare plans in 14 states. Other states’ plans are independently run. Approximately 105 million individuals have coverage under the BCBS license in 37 different companies.

The Anthem spokesperson said that the facility’s investigation is in process, but it estimated that tens of millions of personal records were stolen during the breach. Federal and State investigations are also conducted along with internal investigation. Anthem will start sending notification to the affected individuals. As per the report, the Anthem’s drive was not encrypted which aggregated the breach.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Sensitive information posted on Lone Star’s website

February 21st, 2015

Lone Star suffered data breach when sensitive data was posted on its website by the third party company working for them. According to the reports, exposed information included names, addresses, phone numbers and some dates of birth.

Lone Star CEO Rhonda Mudhenk told Roser that no financial information was compromised, and that the company at fault no longer works on Lone Star’s website.

Lone hired security expert to determine the parameters of breach. It is observed that many unauthorized individuals accessed the information. The clinic is offering one year credit monitoring services to the affected patients.

Mudhenk told Roser that Lone Star was taking the breach seriously, that the organization wanted to assure patients that no financial information was impacted, and that only five individuals had their full or partial Social Security number exposed.

Previous Lone Star breaches includes below incidents:

  • Lone Star suffered a data breach in May 2013 after an employee’s laptop was stolen affecting Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • The online exposure of information happened to the District Medical Group (DMG) affecting an unknown number of patient’s protected health information (PHI)

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Stolen laptop may lead to data breach

February 7th, 2015

Private behavioral and mental health non-profit organization may suffer data breach after it found out that several laptops were stolen from its Noblesville location, Indiana. Organization believed that laptops were not stolen for the information. The stolen laptops “may have resulted in the limited disclosure of personal information” for both employees and patients.

Affected information includes names, addresses, and Social Security numbers for employees and a few clients. Moreover, some clients’ medical record numbers and personal health information may have been on the devices. However, electronic medical records were not on the laptops. Aspire mailed notifications to approximately 45,000 individuals which included 1,500 Social Security number.

Aspire added that it is offering identity protection services to members whose information was potentially exposed.

“Our organization is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of the personal information in our control, and we sincerely regret this incident occurred,” Aspire President and CEO Rich DeHaven said. “We have taken steps to enhance our security, including upgrading our alarm and security systems. We remain committed to continually improving our IT and physical security to further protect our data and our clients.”

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.