Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (“CRMC”) is providing notice of an incident that may affect the security of some of our patients’ personal information. While there is currently no evidence that patient information has been misused as a result of this incident, we are providing information on the incident, measures we have taken and what you may do to better protect your personal information should you feel it appropriate to do so. We are also providing affected individuals with notification letters they will receive in the mail.
What Happened? On or about April 5, 2019, CRMC was alerted to suspicious activity related to certain employee payroll accounts and launched an investigation. During the course of this investigation, we identified suspicious activity related to certain email accounts around April 12, 2019. CRMC immediately expanded its investigation to determine the full nature and scope of the activity. With the assistance of leading computer forensics experts, we learned that certain CRMC employee accounts were accessed without authorization between March 27, 2019 and April 8, 2019. Unfortunately, the investigation was not able to determine which files, if any, were actually accessed or viewed during the affected time period. While it appears that this incident was focused on gaining access to our employees’ payroll information, we are unable to rule out the possibility that patient information contained in the impacted email accounts was subject to unauthorized access.
On August 21, 2019, CRMC determined that unauthorized access to employee email accounts may have resulted in certain personal information being accessible; however, the full scope of information and individuals potentially affected was unknown at the time. Working with our third-party experts, CRMC undertook a comprehensive and painstaking review of the impacted accounts to identify those who may have personal information that was accessible within the impacted accounts. On November 1, 2019, our review to determine the full scope of individuals whose information was potentially affected was completed; however, we still lacked sufficient address information for much of the population, and we commenced an additional review of our internal systems to obtain this address information to provide notice to individuals. Although, to date, we are unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of your personal information, we are providing notice in an abundance of caution because patient information was present in the impacted email accounts at the time of the incident.
CRMC’s policies and standard procedures dictate that patient information in our care be stored securely in our electronic health records system; however, based on necessary consultations and for administrative purposes, certain information is also exchanged among our staff and with other providers via email. All such email exchanges are made securely in accordance with CRMC procedures.
What Information Was Involved? CRMC’s investigation confirmed the information present within the impacted email accounts at the time of the incident may include patient name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, dates of service, provider name, medical record number, patient identification number, medical information, diagnosis, treatment information, health insurance information, and for a very small number of individuals, credit card information and/or financial account information.
CRMC cannot confirm whether any individual’s personal information was actually accessed or viewed without permission. We are providing this notification out of an abundance of caution.
What We Are Doing. Information privacy and security are among our highest priorities. CRMC has strict security measures in place to protect information in our care. Upon learning of this incident, CRMC took steps to confirm and further strengthen the security of our systems, including our email accounts. As a precautionary matter, CRMC also notified law enforcement and continues to review its security policies and procedures as part of its ongoing commitment to information security.
While to date, we have no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of personal information, we secured the services of Kroll to provide identity and credit monitoring services at no cost to the affected individuals. Information on how to enroll in these services may be found in the notice letter affected individuals are receiving.
What You Can Do: You may review the information contained in the below “Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud” for guidance on how to protect personal information. Affected individuals may also enroll to receive the identity and credit monitoring services.
For More Information: We understand you may have questions about this incident that are not addressed in this notice. To ensure your questions are answered in a timely manner, we established a dedicated assistance line at 1-844-931-1882, which can be reached Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time).
CRMC takes the privacy and security of the personal information in our care very seriously. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident causes.
Jacqueline Van Cleave
Director of Compliance and Privacy
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud
We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements and Explanation of Benefits statements regularly, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
You have the right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on your file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.
The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-410-528-8662, www.oag.state.md.us.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violator. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6000, www.ncdoj.gov. You can obtain information from the Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission about preventing identity theft.
For Rhode Island Residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General can be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903; www.riag.ri.gov, 1-401-274-4400. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident. There are two Rhode Island residents impacted by this incident.
For New York residents, the Attorney General may be contacted at: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; https://ag.ny.gov/.