Beaumont investigating security breach of 1,200 patient files

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Beaumont Health officials are investigating a security breach by a former employee who accessed patient information, hospital officials said Saturday. 

Beaumont notified 1,182 individuals about the incident on Friday saying a now-former employee had unauthorized access of patient information. The employee, who was terminated, is suspected of disclosing information to an individual working on behalf of a personal injury attorney, the hospital said.

The hospital's investigation determined on Dec. 10 that from Feb. 1, 2017, until Oct. 22, the former employee access and disclosed protected health information. The information included names, addresses, dates of birth, phone number, email addresses, reason for treatment, insurance information and Social Security numbers.

While it's unclear which hospitals in Michigan the patients attended, officials say, the incident did not affect all patients of Beaumont.

The Southfield-based health care provider said it will work with law enforcement should it decide to prosecute the former employee. The Michigan Health and Hospital Association has also been notified so other hospitals can be vigilant.

Officials recommend that affected individuals review the explanation of benefits statement that they receive from their health insurance providers and follow up on anything they don't recognize. Individuals whose Social Security numbers were contained in the impacted account have been provided with information about enrolling in a complimentary credit monitoring product, officials said.

For further questions or additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if you may be impacted by this incident and are eligible for credit monitoring, a dedicated toll-free response line has been set up at (866) 977-0774.  The response line is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_