Data Breaches at South Country Health Alliance Breach, Precision Spine Care, and AllCare Health Inc

Minnesota South Country Health Alliance based in Owatonna, MN has identified that an unauthorized individual got access to a staff’s email account that held the protected health information (PHI) of 66,874 of its members.

The email account breach was discovered on September 14, 2020, with the following investigation unveiling the unauthorized person first accessed the account on June 25, 2020. The analysis of the email account was done on November 5, 2020 and showed it included personal data and PHI such as names, Social Security numbers, addresses, health insurance details, Medicare and Medicaid numbers, diagnostic or treatment data, date of death, provider name, and treatment cost details.

Minnesota South Country Health Alliance sent notifications to all members affected by the breach on December 30, 2020. The delayed issuance of notifications was because of the time it took to know the updated mailing addresses for impacted members.

The breach investigation failed to reveal any proof to confirm the access, theft or misuse of any protected health information in the breached account. South Country Health Alliance is offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services to persons likely affected by the email breach.

20,787 Patients Affected by Precision Spine Care Email Breach

Precision Spine Care in Tyler, TX reported that an email account breach resulted in the exposure of the protected health information (PHI) of 20,787 patients.

An unauthorized individual acquired access to the email account of an employee and made an attempt to reroute funds to his bank account. The purpose of the attackers appears to be to commit payment fraud solely, though it was unsuccessful. The investigation into the incident involved an evaluation of the compromised email account, which contained names, addresses, dates of birth, and some medical data.

There was no information found that suggests the attacker accessed any PHI in the email account. Precision Spine Care sent breach notifications to all impacted persons in January 2021.

AllCare Health Members Impacted by Mailing Vendor Ransomware Attack

AllCare Health Inc. based in Oregon is informing its 5,000 members regarding the ransomware attack on its mailing vendor that allowed unauthorized individuals to obtain some of their PHI. Metro Presort Inc. manages AllCare Health’s big mailing projects and encountered a ransomware attack last May 2019.

The health plan was just informed about the ransomware attack late November 24, 2020, hence the delay in issuing the notifications to members. Metro Presort secured its systems and investigated the breach, which revealed that all patient data was encrypted before the ransomware attack. For that reason, the attackers were unable to access the data. In October 2020, Metro Presort assessed the incident and came to realize that that there’s no proof that patient data was not accessed because the data needed to confirm that the files were protected before the attack were encrypted during the attack and so can’t be accessed.

AllCare Health stated that the data potentially accessed only included names, addresses, dates of birth, health plan account numbers or ID numbers, consultation dates, diagnosis treatment codes and types of treatment.

After the attack, the mailing vendor integrated extra technical safety measures and other protections to make sure customer information are encrypted. Extra security audits are currently being done. The mailing vendor also contracted a third-party to conduct security evaluations regularly.

About Christine Garcia 1289 Articles
Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA