About the data privacy event
NCH Healthcare System, Inc. (“NCH”) is providing notice of an incident that may affect the privacy of certain information so that potentially affected individuals may take steps to better protect their personal information, should they feel it appropriate to do so.
Frequently asked questions
On or around June 14, 2019, NCH became aware of suspicious activity related to our human resources, timekeeping, and payroll system. We immediately launched an investigation into this suspicious activity and determined that certain employees fell victim to an email phishing scheme that allowed an unauthorized actor (hacker) to gain access to the employee’s payroll records as well as their email accounts. Importantly, NCH patient medical record systems were not affected by this incident, and the sole purpose of the attack appears to have been to reroute direct deposit payroll funds; however, the stolen credentials allowed access to employee email accounts. Third party specialists undertook a diligent and time-consuming manual and programmatic review of the entire contents of the relevant email accounts to determine what data was present as the investigation was not able to determine if any email was actually viewed. On December 19, 2019, the review provided confirmation of the identities of those individuals who may have had information present within the email accounts under review. NCH then began the laborious task of populating address information from our internal records system.
What Information Was Involved? While, to date, the investigation has found no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of the information present in the relevant email accounts, NCH did determine that the email accounts affected by this incident may include some combination of the following information: patient name, date of birth, driver’s license number, tribal identification number, financial account information, payment card information, medical history, treatment information, medication or prescription information, beneficiary information, provider information, patient identification number, health insurance information, and/or username/email and password information. Less than five (5) percent of the population had a Social Security number accessible.
What is NCH Doing? The confidentiality, privacy, and security of personal information in our care is one of our highest priorities. Upon learning of the suspicious payroll activity, we immediately commenced an investigation and took steps to secure our systems. We worked with the third-party forensic investigators to confirm the full nature and scope of this event. We are notifying potentially affected individuals of this event and providing them with information and resources to assist in protecting personal information. While NCH has measures in place to protect information in its systems, NCH is implementing additional safeguards to protect the security of information.
As an added precaution, NCH is offering potentially affected individuals access to two years of credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services through IDExperts® to provide potentially affected individuals with MyIDCare™. Enrollment information can be found in the letter received by those who may be affected.
What You Can Do? NCH encourages individuals to review and consider the information and resources outlined in the below “Steps You May Take to Protect Personal Information.”
For More Information? You may write to NCH at 350 7th Street North, Naples, FL 34102 or call 1-833-554-0465 Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET (excluding U.S. holidays), with any additional questions.
STEPS YOU MAY TAKE TO PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION
Monitor Your Accounts
NCH encourages potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing their accounts, explanations of benefits, and credit reports for suspicious activity, to detect errors. You are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the affiliated institutions immediately. Under U.S. law, individuals with credit reports are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
You have the right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security 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 security 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 security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on your 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 agencies listed below:
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); 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.