Security Breach Puts 2,600 Patients’ PHI at Risk

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  • February 9, 2018
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Security Breach Puts 2,600 Patients’ PHI at Risk

The Boston-based nonprofit health system, Partners HealthCare System, Inc., discovered personal data and protected health information (PHI) had been accessed by computers infected with malware in May 2017. The breach involved more than 2,600 individuals of which Partners notified on Feb. 5.
According to Boston Business Journal:

The nonprofit health system, whose hospitals include Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s, said in a statement that the malware did not result in access to its electronic medical record system, but may have exposed patients’ names, diagnoses, types of procedures and medications. The Social Security numbers and financial-account data of some patients may also have been included, the hospital system said.

The Partners’ Privacy Incident Notice outlines steps you can take to protect your PHI and potential misuse due to the breach, which include:
•    Review your account statements from Partners and your insurance company to make sure your account activity is valid.
•    Provide updated personal information to your healthcare provider by bringing photo ID to verify your identity.
•    Consult the Federal Trade Commission for guidance on general steps you can take to protect your information.
Partner’s also outlines the steps you can take to protect your identity as:
•    Place a security freeze prohibiting a credit bureau from releasing your credit report information without your written consent.
•    Review your account statements carefully to ensure your account activity is valid.
•    Check your credit report to ensure your information is accurate.
•    Ask creditors to place a fraud alert on your file, which tells creditors to contact you before opening a new account or increasing credit limits on existing accounts.

Michelle Dick
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Michelle A. Dick, BS, is a freelance content specialist, providing writing, editorial expertise, and graphic imagery to clients. Prior to becoming a free agent, she was an executive editor for AAPC, editor-in-chief at Eli Research, and editor at Element K Journals. After earning a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo State, Dick entered the publishing industry as a graphic artist, ad coordinator, and web designer for White Directory Publishers, Inc.

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