Mercy Medical Center Redding notifies patients after discovering NaviHealth case manager was working under a stolen identity

Typically, when an entity posts a link to a security breach notification on their web site, it’s a normal or small font. If you’re lucky, it’s positioned so that you stand a chance of spotting it immediately. But Mercy Medical Center Redding wanted to make sure they caught their patients’ attention with this graphic on their home page:

Screenshot from Mercy Medical Center - Redding website
Screenshot from Mercy Medical Center Redding website

From their notification:

Mercy Medical Center Redding has experienced a security incident involving patient information. If you were a patient at our facility between June 2015 and May 2016, please read this information carefully.

At Mercy Medical Center Redding we believe protecting our patients’ dignity and privacy is part of the care we provide.  This includes notifying patients in the event of a privacy or data security breach.  Unfortunately, on June 6, 2016, Mercy Medical Center Redding learned that information involving patients at our hospital was accessed inappropriately.

Our business partner, naviHealth, assists Mercy Medical Center Redding with patient support after leaving the hospital.  From June 2015 to May 2016 naviHealth unknowingly employed a person as a case manager who was working under a false name and nursing license. When naviHealth discovered the problem, it immediately severed ties with the case manager and prevented further computer access.  Law enforcement was contacted, and naviHealth is cooperating in the on-going investigation.

Unfortunately, this individual accessed patient information as part of his work, including:

  • standard clinical information, such as diagnosis, lab results, medications, dates of treatment, and provider notes;
  • individual information, such as name, address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, email, medical record number, account number, dates of service; and
  • health insurance account information, such as group health plan number and member ID.

Mercy Medical Center Redding has sent letters to all patients whose personal/sensitive information may have been exposed.  If you were a patient at Mercy between June 2015 through May 2016 and have questions, please contact 1-800-960-0427.  If you were a patient between these dates and have not received a letter, please call 1-800-960-0427 immediately.

For its part, naviHealth has taken a number of steps to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.  All calls made by this case manager were recorded; and these recorded calls have been reviewed for content and clinical accuracy. All current naviHealth employees’ nursing licenses and identification have been reviewed and confirmed as authentic.  New employees will go through additional screening processes when hired.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our patients.

[…]

Action News Now reports that 520 patients were notifed.

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