IL: Center for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases notifies more than 20,300 patients after ransomware attack

On November 16, the Center for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases in Illinois notified HHS of a breach that they coded as “unauthorized access/disclosure” involving PHI on the network server.

Here is the notice on their web site that describes what the ransomware incident:

The Center for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases has become aware of a potential data security incident that may have resulted in the inadvertent exposure of patients’ personal and health information. Although at this time there is no indication that an unauthorized party actually accessed or viewed patient information or evidence of patient information being misused, we have taken steps to notify anyone who may have been affected by this incident.

On September 18, 2018, we discovered that our servers had been impacted in a ransomware attack, which prompted an investigation to determine if patient information was at risk. The investigation determined that an unknown, unauthorized third party may have gained access to our servers and could have viewed or accessed patient records, including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, insurance information, health information, and for Medicare patients, Social Security numbers.

Although there is no evidence that the unauthorized third party actually accessed information on our system and we are not aware of any misuse of patient information, we take the privacy and security of patient information very seriously and have taken steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. Notification letters mailed on November 16, 2018, include additional information about what happened and a toll-free number where patients can learn more about the incident. The call center is available Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Central at 888-510-9738.

The privacy and security of patient information is a top priority for the Center for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases, which deeply regrets any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause.

Their report to HHS indicated that 20,371 patients were notified.

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