The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo is under the state’s Department of Human Services. On December 22, it issued a notice following discovery of a phishing incident that potentially affected 650 patients:
The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) experienced a potential data breach after a staff member on Nov. 1, unintentionally allowed access to a state-issued computer through a phishing scam.
A recently-concluded investigation by the state Office of Information Technology (OIT) that began on Nov. 2, was unable to determine that any private information held by CMHIP was acquired or viewed by a third party. Nevertheless, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires disclosure of any potential exposure of personal information that could affect more than 500 patients. The potential breach affected the records of 650 patients.
CMHIP has taken steps to notify all individuals who may have been affected and is working with HIPAA Privacy and Security staff to create new technical safeguards, review and revise privacy policies and procedures, and institute additional training for all CMHIP staffers to further address this issue. The issue has been addressed with the employee in accordance with CDHS policy and applicable law.
While OIT found no evidence indicating sensitive patient records were acquired by a third party, some personal information could have been compromised. That information could include but is not limited to name, date of birth, Social Security number, address, phone number, insurance information, admission and discharge dates.
The 449-bed mental health hospital is one of two state facilities charged with providing inpatient care for adult patients. The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) is a forensic hospital that serves individuals with pending criminal charges that require evaluations of competency, individuals who have been found by a court to be incompetent to proceed (restoration treatment) and individuals found to be not guilty by reason of insanity.
Those individuals wanting to take additional steps to protect their privacy should request a free copy of their credit report, review the Colorado Attorney General’s fraud prevention resources, or file a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights.
The hospital is informing those whose records are involved that the following three credit companies can provide a free copy of credit reports to them so they can monitor credit activities in their name:
www.experian.com/fraudalertP.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
www.transunion.com/fraudP.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
www.equifax.com/creditreportassistanceP.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
For additional information or concerns please call this toll-free hotline, (833) 870-1201, for assistance between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.