DETROIT – Beginning on Jan. 24 Beaumont notified 1,182 individuals about an incident involving unauthorized access of patient information by a now former Beaumont employee suspected of disclosing information to an individual working on behalf of a personal injury attorney.
Upon learning of the situation, Beaumont launched an investigation. Beaumont will work closely with law enforcement if they decide to prosecute this former employee. Beaumont has also notified the Michigan Health & Hospital Association to ensure other hospitals and health systems are aware of this activity and can be extra vigilant in guarding against it.
This incident does not affect all patients of Beaumont. The individual responsible for this incident has been terminated and is no longer employed by Beaumont. Beaumont has also taken steps to improve internal procedures to identify and re-mediate future threats in order to minimize the risk of a similar incident in the future.
After an extensive investigation, Beaumont discovered on Dec. 10, 2019 that from February 1, 2017 until Oct. 22, 2019, the former employee accessed and disclosed protected health information without authorization. The information accessed included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone number, email addresses, reason for treatment, insurance information and Social Security numbers.
Notified individuals have been provided with best practices to protect their information and have been reminded to remain vigilant in reviewing financial account statements for any fraudulent activity. It is also recommended that affected individuals review the explanation of benefits statements that they receive from their health insurance providers and follow up on any items not recognized. Individuals whose Social Security numbers were contained in the impacted account have been provided with information about enrolling in a complimentary credit monitoring product.
For further questions or additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if you may be impacted by this incident and are eligible for credit monitoring, a dedicated toll-free response line has been set up at 866-977-0774. The response line is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time.