SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Although unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of patient information, Beacon Health System ("Beacon") is notifying approximately 1,200 patients that records were accessed without proper authorization by a former employee. While the former employee may have had authorization to view patient records in certain circumstances, the former employee exceeded permissible access to view records for some patients.
"We take patient privacy very seriously," Mark Warlick, Chief Information Officer of Beacon Health, stated. "We have taken steps to help prevent another incident of this kind from happening by implementing additional protocols, reviewing our policies and procedures, and providing additional training to staff," Mr. Warlick said.
After an audit of an employee access to medical records, Beacon discovered, on or around March 30, 2017, that an employee accessed some patient records without authorization between March of 2014 to March of 2017. While the investigation is ongoing, Beacon has determined that the accessed patient information contained varying types of data relating to certain Beacon patients, including but not limited to: first and last name; Social Security number; age; diagnosis; room number; acuity of illness; chief complaint; and potentially financial account information and/or health insurance coverage information.
Although unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of the patient information, Beacon is offering impacted patients access to complimentary identity monitoring and restoration services with Experian, 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. Beacon 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, Beacon 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, Beacon has established a toll-free hotline to answer questions. The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST at (888) 729-1602.
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SOURCE Beacon Health System