IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR PATIENTS
As part of St. Joseph Medical Center’s commitment to patient privacy and the security of patient information, we wanted to make you aware of a recent incident that impacted the personal information of a limited number of patients who received care at the medical center.
On 5/18/20, the hospital was made aware that an error occurred by a vendor contracted by its billing office to assist with debt collections. On 4/30/20 the vendor, Medical Data Systems (MDS) experienced a technical error when mailing letters to recipients that merged patient information incorrectly. As a result of this error, numerous individuals may have received a letter with another individual’s data. The information contained in the letter included: Full name, healthcare provider, hospital account number, date(s) of services and amount owed on the account. The information did not include full or partial social security number, or any other personal financial information. We do not believe the disclosed information has caused harm to any individual or increased the risk for identify theft.
STEPS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN, AND ARE BEING TAKEN FOLLOWING THIS INCIDENT
Upon learning of this issue reported by Medical Data Systems, St. Joseph Medical Center promptly began an investigation. The hospital has determined this incident resulted from an unintended error. It was corrected immediately and mitigation efforts were attempted by retrieving as many erroneous letters as possible. All affected patients have been notified by mail about this incident.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO ENSURE THAT YOUR DATA IS NOT MISUSED
We deeply regret this situation and any inconvenience caused to patients. We have no evidence that information involved in this incident has been improperly used. However, we encourage affected individuals to take precautions to protect the security of their personal information, including promptly reporting any suspicious activity or suspected identity theft to law enforcement.
St. Joseph Medical Center has the utmost concern for our patients’ privacy and takes measures to ensure that those with whom we share confidential information maintain appropriate and responsible safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to that information. Once again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this incident may have caused any of our patients or their families. We take the confidentiality of your information very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future. Anyone who received a letter regarding this breach or who feels they may be part of this breach may contact the Compliance & Privacy Office at St. Joseph Medical Center with any questions toll free at 877-302-4378 or email [email protected]