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Notice of Data Privacy Event

March 10, 2023 A recent data security event involving Beacon Health System (“Beacon”) may affect the security of information related to certain individuals who are affiliated with Beacon as current or former patients. Although there is no indication of identity theft or fraud resulting from this event, we are providing you with information about the event, our response to it, and information related to what you may do to better protect your information, should you feel it appropriate to do so.

What Happened.  On or about January 10, 2023, Beacon became aware that an employee may have been inappropriately accessing patient records. The employee’s job functions provided security privileges which allowed them access to clinical documentation in the medical record. This employee performed duties related to registration, verification of benefits, and assisted with patient placement within the hospital. Due to the nature of their job, access to some clinical documentation would periodically be necessary.  Beacon immediately launched an investigation to determine the full nature and scope of the employee’s activity to assess the volume of records potentially involved. On or around February 20, 2023, Beacon confirmed that the individual had inappropriately accessed records that did not pertain to their job duties. The information was accessed during the course of the individual’s employment with Beacon between the dates of November 19, 2018 and February 24, 2023.   Beacon also began a comprehensive and time intensive review of the potentially accessed records in order to provide proper notification to individuals.  That review was recently completed.

What Information Was Affected.  The information accessible during this event varies per individual. The types of information viewed in Beacon’s electronic medical record may include demographic items such as an individual’s name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, as well as clinical information such as diagnoses, emergency care treatment information, labs and diagnostic testing, operative and anesthesia documentation, as well as ancillary clinical documentation and medical history.

What We are Doing. We take this event and the security of your information seriously. Upon learning of this event, we moved quickly to investigate and respond to the event, assessing the security of our systems, and identifying any impacted data.  We will also be directly notifying potentially impacted individuals, where address information exists, so that they may take further steps to help protect their information, should they feel it is appropriate to do so.

What Affected Individuals Can Do.  As a precautionary measure, individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft by reviewing account statements and credit reports for unusual activity and to detect errors. Additional resources can be found below in the Steps You Can Take to Help Protect Your Information.

For More Information.  If you have additional questions, you may contact our dedicated assistance line toll-free at (888) 994-0277.  This toll-free line is available Monday through Friday 8 am – 10 pm CST, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 7 pm CST (excluding major U.S. holidays). You may also write to Beacon at 615 North Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana 46601.

 

Steps You Can Take To Help Protect Your Information

Monitor Your Accounts

Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.  You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost.  An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file.  Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit.  If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.  Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization.  The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent.  However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit.  Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report.  To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
  5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, etc.); and
  7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.

Should you wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:

 

Equifax Experian TransUnion
https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ https://www.experian.com/help/ https://www.transunion.com/credit-help
888-298-0045 1-888-397-3742 1 (800) 916-8800
Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788 Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

 

Additional Information

You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.  The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261.  The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them.  You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above.  You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud.  Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim.  Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General.  This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.

For District of Columbia residents, the District of Columbia Attorney General may be contacted at: 400 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; 202-727-3400; and oag.dc.gov.

For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General may be contacted at: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-410-528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023; and www.oag.state.md.us.

For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.  Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting bureaus must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violator.  You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here.  Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

For New York residents, the New York Attorney General may be contacted at: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; or https://ag.ny.gov/.

For North Carolina residents, the North Carolina Attorney General may be contacted at: 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6000; and www.ncdoj.gov.

For Rhode Island residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General may be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903; www.riag.ri.gov; and 1-401-274-4400.  Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident.  The investigation is ongoing to determine the number of Rhode Island residents impacted by this incident, if any.