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Former Employee Taps Into California Health Data

Consolidated Tribal Health Project, Inc (CTHP) has become aware of a data security event involving unauthorized access by a former employee to certain CTHP systems and information maintained by CTHP. CTHP has been working to understand the nature and scope of the incident, and has engaged third-party data forensics experts to assist with its investigation.  Law enforcement is also actively investigating this matter, and CTHP is cooperating with this criminal investigation. CTHP is unaware of actual or attempted misuse of information relating to this data security event which may include current and former patient, responsible party, and employee information. Patient and responsible party information that may be affected includes names, addresses, medical information, health insurance information, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and financial information. Employee information that may be affected includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, health insurance information, medical information, driver's license numbers, financial information, and telephone numbers. CTHP will begin mailing notice letters to affected individuals for whom it has current mailing address information written notice of this incident on or about May 12, 2015. 

CTHP is encouraging potentially affected individuals to take steps to protect their identity and information, and has established a toll-free call center to answer questions.  As the investigations continue, and out of an abundance of caution, CTHP is offering credit monitoring and identity protection services to potentially affected individuals, free of charge, for the next 12 months. Potentially affected individuals can visit www.cthp.org to learn more about this data security event and the support and services being provided. CTHP will also be disclosing this incident to certain state and federal regulators.

CTHP also suggests that potentially affected individuals remain vigilant and seek to protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss by reviewing account statements for any unusual activity, notifying their credit card companies of the potential data compromise, and monitoring their credit reports. Under US law, individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To obtain a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 877-322-8228.

At no charge, potentially affected individuals can also have these credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" on their files that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify their identity prior to granting credit in their names. Please note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect the individual's credit, it may also delay the ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies the individual's identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms an individual's fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on that individual's file. Any individual wishing to place a fraud alert, or who has questions regarding their credit report, can contact any one of the following agencies: Equifax, P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069, 800-525-6285, www.equifax.com; Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, 888-397-3742, www.experian.com; or TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022-2000, 800-680-7289, www.transunion.com. Information regarding security freezes may also be obtained from these sources.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. To file a complaint with the FTC, or to obtain additional information on identity theft and the steps that can be taken to avoid identity theft, the FTC can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, or at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, or 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338); TTY: 866-653-4261. This notice has not been delayed because of law enforcement; however, instances of known or suspected identity theft should be reported to law enforcement, the Attorney General in the individual's state of residence, and the FTC. State Attorneys General may also have advice on preventing identity theft. Individuals can also learn more about placing a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit files by contacting the FTC or their state's Attorney General. For California residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at Attorney General's Office California Department of Justice, Attn: Public Inquiry Unity, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550; 800-952-5225, www.privacy.ca.gov.

To better assist those who may potentially have been affected, CTHP has established a confidential, toll-free hotline to answer questions. This hotline is available Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST, and Saturday through Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. PST and can be reached at 888-451-6559. Potentially affected individuals can also visit www.cthp.org for additional information and updates. 

CTHP regrets any inconvenience this data security event may cause its patients, providers, and employees, and is committed to protecting personal information and protected health information in its care. CTHP will continue to thoroughly investigate and respond to this incident and improve its data security. CTHP will continue to cooperate with law enforcement's investigation into this matter. 

Source: Consolidated Tribal Health Project, Inc