SC: Prisma Health discloses third patient data breach in two months
Noah Feit reports:
Patients and volunteers at several Midlands hospitals might have had their personal information exposed online, according to Prisma Health.
The problem was discovered after a Prisma Health employee’s login credentials were compromised, said Tammie Epps, a spokeswoman for the largest hospital system in South Carolina.
Read more on The State.
I had been aware of a Prisma Health incident that had been reported to HHS on September 6 as impacting 2,770 patients, but that had been reported to HHS as involving theft of PHI that were in paper/film format, not anything that would sound like compromise of an email account resulting in exposure online. Was this a second and unrelated incident? It sounded like it, so I checked Prisma Health’s web site, and found three data breach security notices:
A notice of theft incident involving the OB/GYN department at Richland Hospital dated September 24, 2019. The report corresponded to the breach report to HHS in September: a notebook was stolen on July 9 from a physician’s car and was reported to them on July 22;
A notice of theft incident involving the Emergency Department at RIchland Hospital also dated September 24, 2019 that also corresponded to the breach report to HHS in September: a notebook was stolen on June 30 from a physician’s car and reported to Prisma Health on July 9.
Prisma Health did not indicate whether this was two incidents affecting the same physician or it involved different physicians, but given that they provided different dates of theft, this site is treating the thefts as two incidents.
The third notice was the one related to today’s news report on The State: a notification dated October 29 of a cyber attack that compromised an employee’s login credentials to a Palmetto Health webite. According to their notice:
Prisma Health determined that the compromised login credentials provided access to patient pre-registration and volunteer registration information forms previously completed on the Palmetto Health website at www.palmettohealth.org.
The personal information affected may have included an affected individual’s full name, address, date of birth and health information. In some instances, Social Security numbers and health insurance information were affected.