Nearly 80,000 Patients Impacted by Fertility Centers of Illinois Cyberattack

Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) has lately advised 79,943 present and past patients concerning unauthorized persons that may have accessed or acquired some of their protected health information (PHI).

FCI found suspicious system activity last February 1, 2021, and took quick action to safeguard its network. Third-party forensic investigators were then involved to find out the nature and extent of the data breach.

FCI had enforced safety procedures to secure patient data, and those procedures made sure its electronic medical record system cannot be viewed; nonetheless, the attackers were determined to have seen administrative files and directories. An evaluation of those files affirmed on August 27, 2021, that they comprised various patient information like names in conjunction with at least one of these types of data:

Passport numbers, Social Security numbers, financial account details, payment card data, diagnoses, treatment details, medical record numbers, claims/billing details, medication data, Medicare/Medicaid identification details, medical insurance subscriber numbers, medical insurance group numbers, referring medical practitioners, encounter numbers, patient account numbers, usernames, and passwords together with PINs or account login details.

Employee data was likewise likely compromised such as names, employer-given identification numbers, ill-health/retirement data, occupational health-associated data, healthcare benefits and entitlements data, sickness certificates, and patkeys/reason for absence.

FCI mentioned it had tight security steps ready to avert unauthorized data access, nevertheless, the attackers were able to get around those settings. From then on, steps were undertaken to further safeguard its systems, information, and equipment, which include using business-class identity verification software programs and providing more training to the staff on security methods.

All impacted people were advised through the mail and were provided with one-year credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for free via Equifax.

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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