9,700 patients impacted by security breach in Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group
Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group, based in New Jersey, announced that it is notifying about 9,700 patients by mailing letters that some of those patients PHI (Protected Health Information) was possibly been accessed by unauthorized individual due to a recent breach of security.
First discovered on Jul. 8, 2019, the officials of Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group determined that an unauthorized individual might have gained access of their network server containing the patient information on Jul. 7, 2019. This security breach was discovered within one day, and the compromised server was secured.
The pulmonology group has started an investigation and came to know that the compromised server contains Protected Health Information of the patients, who had earlier participated in the sleep studies at Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group. This incident has not affected all the patients.
Highly sensitive information like financial information, health insurance information as well as Social Security numbers was not compromised in this breach incident. The breach data has been limited to some patients' names, birth dates, and information of the care that was received at Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group, including information on the sleep study that the patients might have undergone.
The forensic investigation of this breach incident didn't uncover any proof to suggest that patient information has been accessed or stolen, however the possibility cannot be ruled out. So as a precautionary measure, the group has mailed letters to the patients whose information might have been there on the server.
The pulmonology group has also established one dedicated call center, in order to answer the questions that patients may have. In case any patient believes that they are affected by this breach, but still didn't receive the letter by Sep. 27, 2019, they should call at 1-833-671-7850 from 9:00am to 6:30pm Eastern Time in between Monday to Friday.
Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group recommends the affected patients' to review the statements that they will receive from their healthcare providers. In case anyone sees services that they have not received, he/she should immediately contact the provider.
The breach also prompted Shore Specialty Consultants Pulmonology Group to conduct review of their procedures and policies. To help avoid something like this breach from happening again, the pulmonology group has also been providing further training to their employees as well as is enhancing their security against malware.
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