At a minimum, nine healthcare organizations have been influenced by a vendor’s data breach.
On November 5, 2021, AHCV was alerted to suspicious behavior in its digital environment. Subsequent exploration indicated that a third party had obtained access to two employee email accounts using a phishing attack.
When AHCV first looked into the incident, they assumed no Protected Health Information (PHI) was impacted. But on August 19th, 2022, they discovered PHI might have been involved. Consequently, Texas-based St. Luke’s Health alerted 16,906 people n of the AHCV breach in November 2022.
In recent days, notifications of breaches have been disseminated by several entities, including:
1. Texoma Medical Center is one of many healthcare facilities that have released a security notice regarding AHCV.
2. Other healthcare organizations that have issued the same security alert are Coral Shores Behavioral Health, The Vines Hospital, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, Suncoast Behavioral Health, South Texas Health System, Doctors Hospital of Laredo, and Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center.
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The Latest Vendor Data Breach Has Impacted Multiple Healthcare Organizations
Multiple organizations reported that the business associate was not given enough data to conduct a breach assessment until December 27, 2022. It was not until late January 2023 that the associate started giving notice to these organizations.
Most of the emails contained data including the names of patients, the name of the facility, how old the patient was, their patient account number when they were admitted and discharged, their insurance provider, and the amount of money owed.
On March 29, 2023, Suncoast Behavioral Health sent out notification letters. Furthermore, they declared that they are broadening their safety protocols in response to the situation and evaluating extra instruction and safety reminders for their personnel.
Advice has been provided to business partner’s staff on the event and the most effective methods, and they are figuring out whether further measures are required. Furthermore, we have sent out the needed notifications regarding this incident, such as the notification to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The latest vendor data breach has impacted multiple healthcare organizations. Out of the top ten largest healthcare data breaches reported to HHS in 2022, the majority have been caused by third-party vendors, highlighting the necessity for improved third-party risk management (TPRM) practices in the healthcare sector.
In conclusion, the recent vendor data breach that impacted at least nine healthcare organizations highlights the critical need for robust security measures to safeguard sensitive patient data. The breach not only jeopardizes the privacy of patients but also poses a significant threat to the affected organizations’ reputation and financial stability. Such incidents underscore the importance of conducting thorough risk assessments and implementing stringent security protocols, including access controls, encryption, and regular security audits. The healthcare industry must remain vigilant against cyber threats and prioritize investments in security to prevent similar breaches from occurring in the future. Failure to do so not only exposes organizations to significant financial and legal liabilities but also undermines patient trust and confidence in the healthcare system.