Valley Hope Investigation Reveals Potentially Unauthorized Access to Patient Data

Valley Hope Association is notifying you of a recent incident that may affect the privacy of some of your personal information. While there is currently no evidence that your information has been misused, we are making you aware of the event, the steps we are taking in response, and steps you may take to better protect against possible misuse of your personal information, should you feel it appropriate to do so.

What Happened? On Oct. 10, 2018, Valley Hope became aware of unusual activity relating to an employee’s email account. We commenced an investigation, which included working with outside forensic specialists, to determine the full nature and scope of the incident. On Nov. 23, 2018, our investigation determined an unauthorized intruder(s) had logged into the employee’s email account between Oct. 9-10, 2018, resulting in a risk of unauthorized access to the email messages and file attachments stored in that email account. On Dec. 14, 2018, after a thorough review of the impacted email account’s contents, the forensic investigators confirmed they potentially included sensitive personal information. Since that time, we have been working diligently to identify contact information for affected individuals and provide them notice.

What Information Was Involved? While patient information present in the impacted emails varied by individual, the investigation determined that the affected information may have included one or more of these data points: name, addresses, medication/prescription information, Social Security number, financial account information, driver’s license or state identification card number, patient claim/billing information, date of birth, health insurance information and medical record number, and doctor’s name.  Impacted individuals will be sent a notice that details the specific types of their information affected. Valley Hope wants to stress that no diagnosis or treatment information was exposed.

While this information may have been viewed or acquired by the unauthorized intruder(s), we are not currently aware of any actual or attempted misuse of personal information relating to this incident.

What We Are Doing? Valley Hope takes the confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in its care very seriously. Aside from the investigation detailed above, we are taking steps to notify you of this event and provide you with information and access to resources you may use to better protect against potential misuse of personal information, should you feel it appropriate to do so. In addition, we have contacted federal law enforcement authorities. Valley Hope is also notifying the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, appropriate state regulators, and the three major credit reporting agencies. Valley Hope has created this resource page to help answer further questions and provide guidelines for individuals to help protect themselves from identity theft and what they can do if they believe their personal information has been compromised. While we have security measures in place to protect information in our care, we are also taking steps to implement additional safeguards and review policies and procedures to further protect the security of information on our systems. As an added precaution, Valley Hope is providing you with access to 12 months of identity monitoring services from Kroll at no cost to you. A description of services and instructions on how to enroll can be found within the Steps You Can Take to Protect Personal Information section below. Please note that you must complete the enrollment process yourself, as we are not permitted to enroll you in these services on your behalf.

What You Can Do? You can review the Steps You Can Take to Protect Personal Information section below. You can also enroll to receive the free identity monitoring services through Kroll.

For More Information. We understand you may have questions about this incident that are not addressed in this notice. If you have questions or concerns, please call our dedicated hotline at 1-833-228-5727, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST.

Please know Valley Hope takes the privacy and security of the personal information in our care very seriously, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you.

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT PERSONAL INFORMATION

Enroll in Identity Monitoring

To help relieve concerns and restore confidence following this incident, we have secured the services of Kroll to provide identity monitoring at no cost to you for 12 months. Kroll is a global leader in risk mitigation and response, and their team has extensive experience helping people who have sustained an unintentional exposure of confidential data. Your identity monitoring services include Credit Monitoring, Web Watcher, Public Persona, Quick Cash Scan, $1 Million Identity Fraud Loss Reimbursement, Fraud Consultation, and Identity Theft Restoration.

To receive credit services by mail instead of online, please call 1-833-228-5727. Additional information describing your services is included with this notice.

Review Your Credit Report

Under U.S. law, individuals are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, (877) 322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report:

Experian

P.O. Box 2002

Allen, TX 75013

1-888-397-3742 Read More

TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19106

1-800-680-7289 Read More

Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348

1-888-766-0008 Read More

Monitor Your Accounts

In addition to enrolling in the complimentary services detailed above, we encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements and explanation of benefits, and to monitor your 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.

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:

Experian

P.O. Box 2002

Allen, TX 75013

1-888-397-3742 Read More

TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19106

1-800-680-7289 Read More

Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348

1-888-766-0008 Read More

In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.)
  2. Social Security number
  3. Date of birth
  4. If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior 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, military identification, etc.)
  7. 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:

Experian

P.O. Box 2002

Allen, TX 75013

1-888-397-3742 Read More

TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19106

1-800-680-7289 Read More

Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348

1-888-766-0008 Read More

Additional Information

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. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.

 For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6400, www.ncdoj.gov.

For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-888-743-0023, 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 Rhode Island Residents: The Rhode Island Attorney General can be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, www.riag.ri.gov, 1-401-247-4400. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident. There are approximately (10) Rhode Island residents impacted by this incident.