Data Breach | US Fertility • Shady Grove • Fertility Centers of Illinois • Reproductive Science Center • IVF Florida • UNC Fertility • and others
US Fertility databases were breached by a cyberattack between August 12 and September 14, 2020. As a consequence of this data breach, the personal information of many patients was exposed: Name, Social Security Number, Patient Number / MPI (Master-Patient Index Number), and Date of Birth. Since US Fertility provides IT services for several fertility clinics, many patients’ personal information may have been exposed by this data breach.
US Fertility has 55 locations in the US, including clinics under the names of Shady Grove Fertility (which co-owns US Fertility with Amulet Capital Partners), Fertility Centers Illinois, Reproductive Science Center, and IVF Florida. The Data Breach has affected at least one other Fertility Clinic: UNC Fertility in North Carolina.
Data breaches occur when unauthorized parties gain access to private information. It can be the result of a cyberattack that exposes a corporation’s databases or healthcare providers’ databases. When a data breach happens to a healthcare provider, hospital, or health system, in addition to personal information, medical information from patients and staff can be compromised. This can lead to a number of problems, including identity theft.
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway represents consumers in lawsuits against corporations and healthcare providers around the world that fail to adequately safeguard patient/customer information. If you’ve been notified by US Fertility of a data breach or have been a patient of one or more US Fertility clinics prior to September 2020, please contact Peiffer Wolf by filling out an online contact form or by calling 314-833-4827 for a FREE Consultation.
What is a Data Breach?
A data breach means that private/confidential information is accessed and/or exposed by unauthorized people or organizations. The information acquired from data breaches can include name, login information, passwords, e-mail and physical addresses, credit card numbers, etc. In some instances, it can even include Social Security numbers and medical information.
Fertility Clinics storing data for consumers and patients have a legal obligation to keep it secure and inaccessible to third parties. They can be held liable for failing to keep your information safe. If you’ve been notified by US Fertility of a data breach or have been a patient of a US Fertility clinic prior to September 2020, please contact Peiffer Wolf by filling out an online contact form or by calling 314-833-4827 for a FREE Consultation.
Data Breach: Why the Fertility Industry?
Fertility Clinics maintain an incredible amount of their patients’ personal information. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), individuals’ health information must be “properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well-being. The Privacy Rule strikes a balance that permits important uses of information while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing.” HIPPA is “a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.”
Sensitive patient personal and health information can include:
- Home and work address
- Home and work phone number
- Personal and professional e-mail address
- Medical records
- Health insurance information
- Billing information
- Social Security number
- Emergency contact information
Since ransomware* is one of the main causes of data breaches, Healthcare providers’ databases are a target for the value they hold. “Credit card information and PII sell for $1-$2 on the black market, but PHI can sell for as much as $363 according to the Infosec Institute.”
When exposed, the information listed above can lead to identity theft. Some or all of the following can be the consequences of identity theft: damaged credit, tax debt, criminal record, and waste of time and money. When the compromised information includes health insurance and pharmaceutical prescriptions, it can be used to commit insurance fraud and the acquisition of drugs in your name.
Healthcare Industry Data Breach | What should you do?
If your healthcare provider has sent you a notice that a data breach occurred and your information was compromised, you must take a few steps to protect yourself. A few recommendations:
- If credit/debit card information was stolen, you should cancel your credit/debit card and ask for a new one;
- Change your passwords and security questions for the breached accounts. If you use the same or similar passwords for other accounts, change them as well;
- If your Social Security number was stolen, you might consider a credit freeze and should have a credit monitoring service set up;
- Contact DMV in case your driver’s license number was stolen.
Protecting yourself after a data breach comes at a high price, and you will have to spend time and money to make sure you are not the victim of fraud and identity theft. That is why it is imperative that you take action and demand compensation.
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway represents consumers in lawsuits against corporations and healthcare providers around the world that fail to adequately safeguard customer information. Please contact Peiffer Wolf by filling out an online contact form or by calling 314-833-4827 for a FREE Consultation.
Data Breach Statistics | Healthcare Industry
From January to June 2020, 540 data breaches occurred, affecting 163,551,023 individuals. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the projected number of data breaches for the upcoming year could reach 1080, affecting 327,102,046 individuals.
Healthcare Industry data breaches typically have the most costly impact: $6.45 million dollars in total.
According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report, the Healthcare Industry has seen 521 data breaches since 2010. While hacking//enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/dbir/interactive/industry/healthcare was the main cause at the beginning of the past decade, internal errors were the top reason for data breaches from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, internal error and hacking were the top reasons for data breaches in the healthcare industry.
Free Consultation | Data Breach Lawsuits | 314-833-4827
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway represents consumers in lawsuits against corporations and healthcare providers around the world that fail to adequately safeguard customer information. If you’ve been notified by US Fertility of a data breach or have been to consultations on US Fertility clinics prior to September 2020, please contact Peiffer Wolf by filling out an online contact form or by calling 314-833-4827 for a FREE Consultation.
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