Southwest Community Health Center notifies patients after two burglaries

Southwest Community Health Center (“Southwest”) recently discovered an event that may affect the security of protected health information stored within our environment.  This notice is meant to provide information about the event, steps taken since discovering the incident, and what potentially affected individuals can do to better protect against identity theft and fraud.

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Southwest’s 1046 Fairfield Avenue site was broken into and four desktop computers, one laptop, and other miscellaneous items were stolen.  On Friday, April 14, 2017, there was another break in at Southwest’s 510 Clinton Avenue site.  Two laptops and miscellaneous items were stolen from 510 Clinton Avenue during the break-in.  Security alarms were activated and Southwest security and law enforcement immediately responded to the scene of each incident.  Based upon a preliminary investigation into the four stolen desktop computers and the three stolen laptops, there is the possibility that protected health information may have been stored on the local drives or within email accounts stored locally to the devices.  We have no reason to believe that the thieves have used or intend to use this information to commit fraud.

After an exhaustive review of the information that may have been located within the stolen devices, we have determined that the following information related to patients could have been located within one or more of the stolen computers:  Name, bank account number, Social Security Number, and medical information, which could include information such as diagnosis, admission information, insurance information, date of birth, and treatment information.

Although unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of the patient information, Southwest is offering impacted patients access to complimentary identity monitoring and restoration services with Equifax, as well as other information that can be used to better protect against identity theft and fraud should impacted patients feel it is appropriate to do so.  Southwest encourages impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing account statements and explanations of benefits for suspicious activity and to report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement or their Attorney General.

In addition to notifying impacted individuals, Southwest is providing notice to the relevant state Attorneys General and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To better assist those who may potentially have been affected by this event, Southwest has established a toll-free hotline to answer questions or provide additional information.  The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST at 888-721-6295.

SOURCE Southwest Community Health Center

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.