Munson Healthcare became aware of a recent data security incident where certain employee email accounts were accessed by an unauthorized third-party.
Upon learning of this issue, Munson Healthcare commenced a prompt and thorough investigation, working closely with external cybersecurity professionals.
After an extensive forensic investigation and comprehensive manual document review, we discovered on January 16, 2020 that one or more of the email accounts accessed between July 31 and October 22, 2019 contained identifiable personal and/or protected health information.
Affected email accounts contained the personal and protected health information of certain patients, including their names, dates of birth, insurance information, and treatment and diagnostic information.
A limited number of individuals’ financial account numbers, driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers were also contained in the impacted email accounts.
This incident does not affect all patients of Munson Healthcare and not all information was included for all individuals. Munson Healthcare is now notifying affected individuals so that they can take steps to protect their information.
“It is important to note that we have no evidence that any information has been acquired or misused by the unauthorized third party that accessed it,” said Lucas Otten, Munson Healthcare system director of information security. “Notification to affected patients is being provided so that affected individuals can take proactive steps to protect themselves.”
Munson Healthcare is sending notification letters to all affected patients for whom we have enough information to determine a physical address and is setting up a dedicated call center.
Munson Healthcare is also offering complimentary credit monitoring to the limited number of individuals whose Social Security numbers were contained in the email accounts.
Notified patients should monitor insurance statements for any transactions related to care or services that have not actually been received.
“Patient privacy is a top priority and we take this matter very seriously,” added Otten. “Munson regularly trains and educates all employees on cyber security awareness and risks, and we use a 24×7 staffed cyber security response team in partnership with other Michigan hospitals to detect and respond to suspicious incidents as they happen. As cyber security threats continue to evolve, we will continue evolving our defenses to match and will implement additional technical safeguards to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.”
For further questions or additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if you may be impacted, Munson Healthcare has set up a dedicated toll-free response line for patients to ask questions.
The response line can be contacted at 1-844-904-0961 and is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.