Data of More Than 1.3 Million Patients Exposed in Broward Health Breach
In the breach, patient names, Social Security numbers, medical information and other valuable information was exposed.
Broward Health notified 1,357,879 of its patients this weekend that their personal medical information may have been exposed in a data breach last fall.
“On October 15, 2021, an intruder gained entry to the Broward Health network through the office of a third-party medical provider permitted to access the system to provide healthcare services,” the company explained in an online announcement. “Broward Health discovered the intrusion on October 19, 2021, and promptly contained the incident, notified the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ), required a password reset for all employees and engaged an independent cybersecurity firm to conduct an investigation.
“Broward Health also engaged an experienced data review specialist to conduct an extensive analysis of the data to determine what was impacted, which determined some patient and employee personal information may have been impacted. The DOJ requested the Broward Health briefly delay this notification to ensure that the notification does not compromise the ongoing law enforcement investigation.”
The personal information that was accessed during the breach included patient names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, financial or bank account information, Social Security numbers, insurance information and account numbers, medical information including histories, conditions, treatments and diagnosis, medical record numbers, driver’s license numbers and email addresses.
Broward Health said there is no evidence that the information was actually misused, however, personal information can be used by criminals to make bogus medical claims and commit other types of fraud.
The breach has prompted Broward Health to recommend that patients whose information was stolen take steps to protect themselves from medical identity theft.
“We suggest that you regularly review the explanation of benefits statements that you receive from your health plan. If you see any service that you did not receive, contact the health plan at the number on the statement,” the company said.
Broward Health also recommended affected patients monitor their financial accounts to detect unauthorized activity.