Data breaches have become an issue in our digital age, and healthcare institutions are among the most targeted entities due to the sensitive information they handle. The recent breaches concerning Catholic Health Care have caused significant distress among patients and stakeholders alike.
A consulting firm working with many of Catholic Healthcare’s skilled nursing facilities experienced a data breach, exposing many facility residents’ personal and medical information. This breach not only puts personal data at risk, such as names and Social Security numbers, but also medical diagnosis and Medicare information.
If you received notice of a breach of your information or a loved one’s, seek legal help immediately.
Understanding the Implications
In an era where computers predominantly store and share personal information, the security of our data has become more important than ever. When we visit a healthcare provider, we reveal intimate details about our physical and mental well-being, entrusting these institutions with our most private information. But what happens when they break this trust?
The foundation of any healthcare relationship is trust. Walking into a clinic or hospital, we confide our deepest health concerns, hoping for healing and understanding. However, the patient-provider relationship is compromised when this confidential information is available to cybercriminals.
Medical Identity Theft
You might wonder: why would anyone want another person’s health records? Medical identity theft isn’t just about knowing someone’s health history; it’s about exploiting this information for gain.
Armed with stolen health records, cybercriminals can impersonate the victim to get medical treatments or even obtain prescription medications illegally.
At first glance, you might assume that healthcare data breaches strictly concern health details. However, the repercussions often extend to your financial well-being.
Healthcare data typically includes various personal details. With this treasure trove of information, cybercriminals can orchestrate elaborate financial frauds.
Recommended Actions for the Affected
When personal healthcare data is compromised, the initial shock can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the steps to take next. Act promptly to protect your identity, financial well-being, and peace of mind. Here’s a more in-depth look at the actions you must take.
Contact your health insurance provider when you know your data might be compromised. Your provider can flag your account for any suspicious activities, ensuring no unauthorized medical procedures or prescription claims occur in your name.
Regularly reviewing your bank statements and credit reports becomes a protective measure in the aftermath of a breach. You can quickly identify and dispute any unauthorized activities by keeping an eagle eye on your financial transactions. Remember, the sooner you spot these discrepancies, the easier it becomes to mitigate potential damage. Additionally, sign up for credit monitoring services to provide real-time alerts for any suspicious activities linked to your credit profile.
Prioritizing Secure Communication
After a data breach, watch for deceptive emails or messages designed to extract more personal or financial details from you.
These communications, often called phishing attempts, can look like legitimate sources sent them. Never click on links, download attachments, or provide sensitive information. If ever in doubt, contact the organization or institution directly using verified contact details on their website rather than relying on the information provided in the suspicious communication.
Contact Our Data Breach Lawyers
If you suffered harm due to this breach or similar incidents, seek legal counsel. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we’re dedicated to guiding victims of data breaches toward justice and rightful compensation. Contact us today.