Ouch. The Pain Treatment Centers of America and Interventional Surgery Institute in Arkansas have been notifying HHS and 19,397 patients about a security incident involving their vendor, Bizmatics. I had reported last month that Bizmatics’ breach impacted at least 30,000 patients of two other clients. PTCOA becomes the third provider we now know about. I’ve emphasized some statements in PTCOA’s notice, below, because it appears that not only was this breach not detected promptly by Bizmatics, but patients were not notified for months after Bizmatics first notified its clients:
Patient Treatment Centers of America (PTCOA) and Interventional Surgery Institute (ISI) use an electronic health record and practice management tool called PrognoCIS that is owned and operated by a third-party vendor, Bizmatics. Bizmatics recently informed us that a malicious hacker attacked Bizmatics’ data servers, which resulted in unauthorized access to Bizmatics customers’ records–ours included. The PrognoCIS tool stores and organizes patient files, so the information that was potentially compromised is the medical record we maintain on you as a patient, such as health visit information, name, address, health insurance information, driver’s license number or other ID and, in some cases, a Social Security number. No credit card or financial information is stored in your patient file.
Your patient information is important to us, and we select vendors to help us better manage and secure that information. As such, security is the number one priority for our technology vendors, including Bizmatics. Bizmatics alerted us to the issue earlier this year, and since then, we have been in contact with Bizmatics regarding its investigation and assessment of the situation. Bizmatics has consulted with law enforcement and has hired an independent cyber forensics firm to investigate and assure the intrusion is contained and the affected systems are better secured. We have learned that Bizmatics became aware of the incident in late 2015, but neither Bizmatics, law enforcement, nor the cyber forensics firm is able to pinpoint the precise date on which the attack began. Bizmatics has communicated to us that it believes the incident began in early 2015.
We have no reason to believe that our patient files were the target of the hackers’ attack on Bizmatics. Due to the nature of the attack, Bizmatics cannot say for certain that PTCOA’s patient files were among the data that was accessed or acquired by the hacker.
We are taking this issue seriously and have retained Experian, an industry leader in credit monitoring and identity theft recovery, to help patients monitor this situation in the coming months. We are offering a complimentary one-year membership of Experian’s® ProtectMyID® Alert: a product that will help patients detect possible misuse of personal information and provide patients with superior identity protection support focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft. We have also included information below on steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.
We want to assure that your questions about this incident are answered so we have arranged to have call center associates available to address your concerns. You may phone the call center about this incident by dialing 1-888-829-6561, using engagement number PC100514. The call center’s hours are Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PST and Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST.
PTCOA and ISI made every effort to send a letter regarding this incident to all of its patients. If you did not receive a letter and believe you should have, please write to us with your current contact information or call us during our regular business hours to update your contact information.
We sincerely regret that this incident has occurred and thank you for your understanding.
Pain Treatment Centers of America and Interventional Surgery Institute
Read more of their statement on PTCOA.