Apr 052016
 

Notice Regarding Phishing Email Incident

Metropolitan Jewish Health System, Inc. and its participating agencies and programs (including Menorah Home and Hospital for the Aged and Infirm d/b/a Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care; Metropolitan Jewish Home Care, Inc. d/b/a MJHS Home Care; MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.; Institute for Applied Gerontology d/b/a MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care; Elderplan, Inc.; and Elderplan, Inc. d/b/a HomeFirst) (collectively, MJHS) are committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our members’ and patients’ personal information. Regrettably, this notice is regarding an incident involving some of that information.

On January 22, 2016, MJHS first learned that a “phishing” email was sent to an employee of an MJHS participating agency who responded to the email on January 18, 2016 thinking that it was a legitimate request. Phishing is a scam where a person sends an email to a recipient pretending to be someone else and requests information from the recipient. The scam emails look legitimate and are designed to have the person respond. When MJHS learned of this incident, we immediately secured the employee’s email account and began an investigation.

We conducted a thorough review of the employee’s email account and confirmed that the emails in that account contained information that may have included MJHS member and patient names, member numbers, diagnoses, treatment dates, and the facility where members were recently treated. MJHS continues to review other employees’ email accounts and will advise if any additional information, members, or patients are affected.

This incident did not affect all MJHS members and patients, and we have no evidence to indicate that the information in these emails has been used in any way. However, as a precaution, we began mailing letters to affected individuals on March 22, 2016 and have established a dedicated call center to answer questions. If you believe that you are affected but do not receive a letter by April 15, 2016, please call 1-866-310-7373, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Please know that all MJHS employees have been reeducated regarding “phishing” emails, and we are reviewing enhancements for strengthening user login authentications.

The incident was reported on March 22 to HHS, with a report that it impacted 2,483. It’s not clear to me why they checked the box for business associate.

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