Crenshaw County Healthcare Authority
Notice of Data Privacy Incident
Crenshaw County Healthcare Authority (“Crenshaw”) is notifying certain individuals of a recent event that may impact the privacy of some of their protected medical information. Crenshaw is unaware of any misuse of individual information and is providing notice to potentially affected individuals out of an abundance of caution.
On or about July 25, 2022, Crenshaw detected suspicious activity related to an employee’s email account. Crenshaw immediately launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of this incident. The investigation determined that the employee’s email account was accessed without authorization for a brief window of time on July 25, 2022. In an abundance of caution, a detailed and thorough review of the contents of the email account was performed to determine whether protected health information was contained in the email messages or attachments at the time of the incident. Crenshaw then worked diligently to locate address information for the affected individuals and just recently completed that effort. This process completed on September 30, 2022.
The types of protected health information that may have been accessible at the time of this event include: name, address, date of birth, contact information, diagnosis, patient account number and health insurance policy number.
Crenshaw takes this incident and the security of protected health information in our care seriously. Upon learning of this incident, Crenshaw moved quickly to investigate and respond to this incident, assess the security of relevant systems, and notify potentially affected individuals. Crenshaw’s response included resetting relevant account passwords, reviewing the contents of the potentially accessible emails and attachments to determine whether they contained protected health information, and reviewing internal systems to identify contact information for purposes of providing notice to potentially affected individuals. As part of their ongoing commitment to the security of information, Crenshaw is also reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event.
On November 29, 2022 Crenshaw began notifying potentially impacted individuals and regulatory authorities, as required. While Crenshaw is unaware of the misuse of any personal information impacted by this event, individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft by reviewing account statements and explanations of benefits for unusual activity. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the appropriate insurance company, health care provider, or financial institution.
Individuals seeking additional information regarding this incident can call Crenshaw’s dedicated, toll-free number at 855-778-0424 from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday. Individuals may also write to Crenshaw’s Privacy Officer at 101 Hospital Circle, Luverne, AL 36049. Additional resources available to individuals can be found below.
Crenshaw is committed to safeguarding personal information and will continue to work to enhance the protections in place to secure the information in its care.
While Crenshaw is unaware of any misuse of personal information as a result of this event, individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements, explanation of benefits, and to monitor credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors. 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.
Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit 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 three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.
As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit 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 credit 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 credit freeze on your credit report. To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
1. Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
2. Social Security number;
3. Date of birth;
4. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, etc.); and
7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.
Should you wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
Equifax Experian TransUnion
https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ https://www.experian.com/help/ https://www.transunion.com/credit-help
888-298-0045 1-888-397-3742 833-395-6938
Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788 Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094
You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and 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