Around 1,000 patients' information of Kaiser Permanente got exposed in a data breach
As per a notice to the impacted patients, Kaiser Permanente has alerted about a data breach which took place in 2019 mid-August. The data breach has affected 990 patients of Sacramento-area, Kaiser Permanente told to ABC10 in one email.
A notice on the website of Kaiser Permanente mentions that email account of one Sacramento-based health care provider of Kaiser Permanente "became accessible to an unknown and unauthorized individual for approximately 13 hours". That email account contains protected health information of patients.
Angela Anderson, Northern California Regional Compliance Director, Privacy and Security Officer of Kaiser Permanente, said that "the exposure was identified by an ongoing IT security process and corrected immediately upon discovery". She added any evidence was not found by them that the information has been viewed, copied or used.
The data breach occurred on Aug. 12, 2019, and Kaiser Permanente learned about it after a week later (i.e. on Aug. 19, 2019). The healthcare group has alerted the affected members by a letter that was mailed on Sep. 27, 2019, as well as in this notice.
The patient information in compromised email account included the names along with medical record numbers. For a few patients, some other information was also there in the compromised email account like age, gender, date(s) of service, date of birth, payer name, provider comments, provider name, diagnosis, medical history, insurance coverage status, benefit information, as well as treatment, procedure and service provided. The notice said that financial information and Social Security numbers were not there in compromised email account.
The notice has further said that "Kaiser Permanente is taking steps to prevent this type of error from occurring in the future". Kaiser Permanente also said that "upon learning of this issue, we changed the password to the provider's email account and have undertaken additional measures to further strengthen Kaiser Permanente's email security controls".
The healthcare group said the impacted members to review carefully any type of explanation of benefits statements that they receive, as well as urges the impacted members to contact the healthcare group immediately on the number that was present at the back of Kaiser Permanente Identification card when spotted any suspicious activity. The people having questions, complaints or concerns can also call the Kaiser Permanente on 1-800-464-4000 (TTY 711).
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