Holy Cross Hospital is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. This notice relates to an issue involving some of that information.
The Holy Cross Hospital Privacy Office recently learned that an employee inappropriately accessed patient records. The information included patient names, dates of birth, addresses and Social Security Numbers. Our investigation revealed that the employee may have intended to utilize the information in filing fraudulent tax returns. The employee was terminated, and efforts are underway to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent possible
The hospital is taking the precaution of notifying by letter all of the 9,900 patients whose demographic information was accessed (appropriately or potentially inappropriately) by this person during the period of employment between November 2011 and August 2013.
Holy Cross Hospital takes this issue very seriously. Although evidence does not indicate that the patient information was used for other forms of identity theft and fraud, all patients affected by this incident have been notified by mail and are being offered free credit monitoring services.
Below are the steps to activate the free credit monitoring offer provided by Holy Cross Hospital.
Activate ProtectMyID Now in Three Easy Steps
1. ENSURE That You Enroll By: 12/31/2013 (Your code will not work after this date.)
2. VISIT the ProtectMyID Web Site to enroll: www.protectmyid.com/redeem
3. PROVIDE Your Activation Code: [included in the latter sent to affected patients]
The hospital has also established a dedicated call center for affected patients with questions: 1-800-357-0823.
As a preventive measure, the IRS ID Theft Division advises that you file an Identity Theft Affidavit if you believe that someone has improperly obtained a tax filing PIN using your Social Security information or has improperly re-set one. This will result in a “monitor” being placed on the tax return filed using that Social Security Number. However, the IRS advises that doing this may cause a delay in the processing of legitimate tax returns or refund requests, and that it can take up to 180 days from the date of submission for the monitor to be placed on the account. The IRS ID Theft Division can be reached at 1-800-908-4490. The link to the form and other instructions is http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf.
ADDITIONAL ACTIONS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF IDENTITY THEFT
PLACE A 90-DAY FRAUD ALERT ON YOUR CREDIT FILE
An initial 90 day security alert indicates to anyone requesting your credit file that you suspect you are a victim of fraud. When you or someone else attempts to open a credit account in your name, increase the credit limit on an existing account, or obtain a new card on an existing account, the lender should takes steps to verify that you have authorized the request. If the creditor cannot verify this, the request should not be satisfied. You may contact one of the credit reporting companies below for assistance.
PLACE A SECURITY FREEZE ON YOUR CREDIT FILE
If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, a security freeze might be right for you. Placing a freeze on your credit report will prevent lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit. With a Security Freeze in place, you will be required to take special steps when you wish to apply for any type of credit. This process is also completed through each of the credit reporting companies.
ORDER YOUR FREE ANNUAL CREDIT REPORTS
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize. Verify all information is correct. If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.
MANAGE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Take steps such as: carrying only essential documents with you; being aware of whom you are sharing your personal information with and shredding receipts, statements, and other sensitive information.
USE TOOLS FROM CREDIT PROVIDERS
Carefully review your credit reports and bank, credit card and other account statements. Be proactive and create alerts on credit cards and bank accounts to notify you of activity. If you discover unauthorized or suspicious activity on your credit report or by any other means, file an identity theft report with your local police and contact a credit reporting company.
OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT AND WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Visit http://www.experian.com/credit-advice/topic-fraud-and-identity-theft.html for general information regarding protecting your identity.
The Federal Trade Commission has an identity theft hotline: 877-438-4338; TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC also provides information online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.