ME: InterMed, P.A. notifying patients after 4 employees fall for phishing attack
Notice posted on InterMed, P.A.’s web site, Nov. 4:
On September 6, 2019, we learned that an unauthorized individual gained access to an employee’s email account between September 4 and September 6, 2019. We immediately took steps to secure the account, began an internal investigation, and engaged a leading national computer forensic firm to conduct an independent investigation and file review.
The investigation could not determine what specific messages or attachments were viewed — if any — but did determine that three additional email accounts were likely subject to unauthorized access between September 7 and September 10, 2019.
In an abundance of caution, we reviewed the messages and attachments in the email accounts to identify patients whose information may have been accessible to the unauthorized individual. The review of the email accounts determined that they contained some patient information, which may have included patient names, dates of birth, health insurance information, and/or clinical information. Social Security numbers belonging to a very limited number of patients were also found in the accounts. This incident did not involve InterMed’s electronic health record application, and did not impact all InterMed patients – only those patients whose information was in the affected email accounts. Although our investigation is ongoing, we will begin mailing notification letters on November 5, 2019. We are working quickly to identify and notify all patients whose information was in the accounts.
We deeply regret any concern this may cause. The health and safety of our patients — including the safety of patient data — is our top priority. To help prevent something like this from happening again, we are enhancing our adherence to email best practices.
We have established a dedicated, toll-free call center to answer any questions individuals may have about the incident. Patients with questions can call the call center at 1-855-946-0129, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For those patients whose Social Security number was contained in the email accounts, we are offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services. We also recommend that affected patients review statements they receive from their health insurers or healthcare providers. If they see charges for services not received, they should contact the insurer or provider immediately.