October 10, 2023 – Please note that BHS Physician Network, Inc. (“BHS”) is making notifications regarding this data security incident.
As described in the notice below, the unauthorized third party was able to access a Microsoft Office 365-hosted business email account, including certain files, that contained personal information and remove some data from the user’s account. This Outlook365 account is separate from BHS’s internal network and systems, which were not affected by this incident. Following a detailed review, it was determined that personal information associated with BHS may have been involved.
Based on the review, the personal information involved may have included: (1) demographic information to identify you, such as full name and date of birth; and (2) medical information, such as medical record number, dates of service, facility name, patient account identifier, and treatment and/or diagnosis information. Please note that not all data elements were involved for all individuals. Your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit and debit card information, bank account information and account passwords were not involved in this incident.
Until January 8, 2024, individuals associated with BHS may visit https://response.idx.us/Augustincident or call toll-free (888) 861-5625 to ask questions and learn additional information. Further information about the incident is provided below in the notice originally posted on September 29, 2023.
September 29, 2023 Notice of Data Security Incident
First California Physician Partners (“First California”), Georgia Northside Ear, Nose, and Throat, LLC (“Georgia Northside”), and Greater Dallas Healthcare Enterprises (“Greater Dallas Healthcare” and collectively “we”) are providing notice of a recent cybersecurity incident that affected some of their patients. First California, Georgia Northside, and Greater Dallas Healthcare are committed to protecting your information. This commitment includes notifying you if we believe that an incident may have involved your personal information. This notice provides information about the incident and the resources available to you.
On August 11, 2023, it was discovered that an unauthorized third party had gained access to a Microsoft Office 365-hosted business email account belonging to a medical assistant. Upon discovery, steps were immediately taken to investigate and contain the threat. In the course of the investigation, it was determined that the unauthorized third party was able to access the user’s account, including certain files, that contained personal information and remove some data from the user’s account between July 28, 2023 and August 15, 2023. This Outlook365 account is separate from First California, Georgia Northside, and Greater Dallas Healthcare’s internal network and systems, which were not affected by this incident. Although the investigation is ongoing, on August 30, 2023, First California, Georgia Northside, and Greater Dallas Healthcare determined that your personal information may have been involved.
Based on the review, the personal information involved may have included: (1) demographic information to identify and contact you, such as full name, date of birth, and address; (2) medical and/or treatment information, such as dates of service, provider and facility names, and procedure codes; and (3) billing and claims information, such as account and/or claim status, transaction and charge identification numbers, patient account identifiers, and payor information. Your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit and debit card information, bank account information and account passwords were not involved in this incident.
First California, Georgia Northside, and Greater Dallas Healthcare take the security of personal information seriously. As soon as the incident was discovered, immediate action was taken to mitigate and remediate the incident and to help prevent further unauthorized activity. In response to this incident, security and monitoring capabilities are being enhanced and systems are being hardened as appropriate to minimize the risk of similar incidents in the future.
The Reference Guide at the bottom of this page includes additional information on general steps you can take to monitor and help protect your personal information. Please review the Reference Guide. We also encourage you to carefully review statements sent from healthcare providers and insurance companies to ensure that all of your account activity is valid. Any questionable charges should be promptly reported to the provider or company with which you maintain the account.
For the next 90 days, if you have any questions about this matter or would like additional information (including which types of your data may have been involved), please call toll-free (888) 861-5625. This call center is open from 9 am – 9 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except holidays. This substitute notice and toll-free number will remain active for at least 90 days.
We deeply regret any concern this incident may cause you and want to assure you that we take this matter seriously. Individuals affected by this incident are being mailed notice letters. Since there may be insufficient contact information for some individuals, however, we are posting this substitute notice as permitted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Review Your Account Statements
Carefully review statements sent to you from your healthcare providers, insurance company, and financial institutions to ensure that all of your account activity is valid. Report any questionable charges promptly to the provider or company with which you maintain the account.
Provide Any Updated Personal Information to Your Health Care Provider
Your health care provider’s office may ask to see a photo ID to verify your identity. Please bring a photo ID with you to every appointment if possible. Your provider’s office may also ask you to confirm your date of birth, address, telephone, and other pertinent information so that they can make sure that all of your information is up-to-date. Please be sure and tell your provider’s office when there are any changes to your information. Carefully reviewing this information with your provider’s office at each visit can help to avoid problems and to address them quickly should there be any discrepancies.
Order Your Free Credit Report
To order your free annual credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com, call toll-free at (877) 322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) website at www.ftc.gov and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The three credit bureaus provide free annual credit reports only through the website, toll-free number or request form.
Upon receiving your credit report, review it carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look in the “inquiries” section for names of creditors from whom you have not requested credit. Some companies bill under names other than their store or commercial names; the credit bureau will be able to tell if this is the case. Look in the “personal information” section for any inaccuracies in information (such as home address and Social Security Number).
If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit bureau at the telephone number on the report. Errors may be a warning sign of possible identity theft. You should notify the credit bureaus of any inaccuracies in your report, whether due to error or fraud, as soon as possible so the information can be investigated and, if found to be in error, corrected. If there are accounts or charges you did not authorize, immediately notify the appropriate credit bureau by telephone and in writing. Information that cannot be explained should also be reported to your local police or sheriff’s office because it may signal criminal activity.
Contact the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
If you detect any unauthorized transactions in any of your financial accounts, promptly notify the appropriate payment card company or financial institution. If you detect any incidents of identity theft or fraud, promptly report the matter to your local law enforcement authorities, state Attorney General and the FTC.
You can contact the FTC to learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft by using the contact information below:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File
To protect yourself from possible identity theft, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert helps protect against the possibility of an identity thief opening new credit accounts in your name. When a credit grantor checks the credit history of someone applying for credit, the credit grantor gets a notice that the applicant may be the victim of identity theft. The alert notifies the credit grantor to take steps to verify the identity of the applicant. You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling any one of the toll-free fraud numbers provided below. You will reach an automated telephone system that allows flagging of your file with a fraud alert at all three credit bureaus.
Experian: 1-888-397-3742, https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289, https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert
Equifax: 1-888-766-0008, https://www.alerts.equifax.com
You have the right to request a credit freeze from a consumer reporting agency, free of charge, so that no new credit can be opened in your name without the use of a PIN number that is issued to you when you initiate a freeze. A security freeze is designed to prevent potential credit grantors from accessing your credit report without your consent. If you place a security freeze, potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get access to your credit report unless you temporarily lift the freeze. Therefore, using a security freeze may delay your ability to obtain credit.
Unlike a fraud alert, you must separately place a security freeze on your credit file at each credit bureau. To place a security freeze on your credit report you must contact the credit reporting agency by phone, mail, or secure electronic means and provide proper identification of your identity. The following information must be included when requesting a security freeze (note that if you are requesting a credit report for your spouse, this information must be provided for him/her as well): (1) full name, with middle initial and any suffixes; (2) Social Security number; (3) date of birth; (4) current address and any previous addresses for the past five years; and (5) any applicable incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency or the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The request must also include a copy of a government-issued identification card and a copy of a recent utility bill or bank or insurance statement. It is essential that each copy be legible, display your name and current mailing address, and the date of issue.
Below, please find relevant contact information for the three consumer reporting agencies:
Experian Security Freeze: PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com
Equifax Security Freeze: PO Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348, www.equifax.com
TransUnion Security Freeze: PO Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094, www.transunion.com
Once you have submitted your request, the credit reporting agency must place the security freeze no later than 1 business day after receiving a request by phone or secure electronic means, and no later than 3 business days after receiving a request by mail. No later than five business days after placing the security freeze, the credit reporting agency will send you confirmation and information on how you can remove the freeze in the future.
For Residents of Massachusetts
You have the right to obtain a police report with respect to this incident. If you are the victim of identity theft, you also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it.
For Residents of North Carolina
You may also obtain information about preventing and avoiding identity theft from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office:
North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, 1-919-716-6000, www.ncdoj.gov.