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2,500 Carolina Cardiology patients' personal data breach reported by GHS

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Saturday, November 5, 2016

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2,500 Carolina Cardiology patients' personal data breach reported by GHS
About 2,500 patients of Carolina Cardiology Consultants, a practice at Greenville Health System, has had their personal data downloaded by a former employee of a remote-monitoring labor service for cardiac devices.

Ambucor Health Solutions reported to GHS that about one-fifth of the cardiac monitored patients of Carolina Cardiology have been affected. The Delaware-based company will notify patients next week a former Ambucor employee inappropriately downloaded their data shortly before his employment ended.

Ambucor has informed GHS of one patient of Carolina Cardiology Consultants whose social security information was downloaded.

Carolina Cardiology Consultants has offices in Greer, Greenville, Simpsonville and Easley and their main number is 864-455-6900.

The patient personal information did not include patient credit or debit card numbers, medical insurance or Medicare/Medicaid numbers, or other financial information, according to Ambucor.

Ambucor GHS officials the downloaded information may have included patient’s name, date of birth, home address, phone number, race, diagnosis, medications, testing data, patient identification number, medical device information (such as the manufacturer, identification number and model/serial numbers), Ambucor enrollment number, Ambucor enrollment date, Ambucor technician name, physician name(s) and the name and address of the practice where the patient was seen.

According to Greenville Health System spokespersons, briefed by their superiors, Ambucor reported:

In July, law enforcement authorities provided Ambucor with two flash drives that the former employee turned over to them after his departure from the company. In late September, Ambucor reportedly completed a detailed forensic review of the flash drives, which provided additional information about which individuals had their personal information downloaded. Ambucor then began notifying affected providers, including GHS.

Ambucor will offer affected patients one year of identity protection services and, if necessary, related recovery services and $1 million of identity theft insurance at no cost. Affected patients, according to Ambucor, should consider activating the identity protection services.

“GHS and Carolina Cardiology Consultants take patient privacy seriously and deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause our patients,” said Dr. Joseph Manfredi, ambulatory director of electrophysiology.

GHS has not reported any penalties levied against Ambucor, on its patients’ behalf. And it has not reported if it will seek to affiliate itself with another data vendor to better safeguard GHS/Carolina Cardiology Consultants patients’ personal information.

Letters with instructions about activating the free identity protection services will be mailed to affected patients next week, according to Ambucor. Affected patients with questions are told to contact the Ambucor dedicated call center at (866) 313-7933 or call the GHS Privacy Office at (864) 797-7755.

 

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