Nearly 1 Million People Learning Their Medical Records Were Hacked
Practice Resources of Syracuse is in the process of informing some 924,138 patients, including people in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, that an April 12, 2022 data breach has exposed their information to hackers.
According to a document posted on the company's website, "On April 12, 2022, we were subject to a ransomware attack (the “Incident”). With assistance from third-party experts, we took immediate steps to secure our systems and investigate the nature and scope of the Incident." The document went on to say that "The Incident may have resulted in unauthorized access to or acquisition of the following information related to the affected individuals: name, home address, dates of treatment, health plan number, and/or medical record number." PRL says that credit card, bank information and social security numbers were not a part of the breach.
PRL said that out of an abundance of caution, all patients are receiving the notice and will be offered credit protection services to assist in preventing damages from the breach.
Experts say, if you received a notice from the company, it's important to take the risk seriously and read through the entire letter carefully. Console & Associates, a personal injury law firm, says there are important questions one should ask themselves when involved in a data breach.
•What can cybercriminals do with this information?
•What can I do to protect myself from all of the fraud attacks that I’m now vulnerable to?
•Why did a company allow a third party to access my private information?
•Will my credit or job be affected?
•Can criminals now apply for loans and unemployment in my name?
•Is there anything I can do to be compensated for this loss?
•What are my legal options?
The company suggests that those affected should take advantage of credit monitoring services being offered by PRL. In the notice to affected patients, PRL CEO and President David Barletta said his company is offering a credit monitoring service for one year at no charge, and they are providing each person with proactive fraud assistance through Cyberscout. The information needed to obtain the services in detailed in the letter sent to patients.
Barletta also says people affected should take certain steps on their own to protect their credit and identity.
Contact the nationwide credit-reporting agencies as soon as possible to:
•Add a fraud alert statement to your credit file at all three national credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You only need to contact one of the three agencies listed below; your request will be shared with the other two agencies. This fraud alert will remain on your credit file for 90 days.
•You can also receive information from these agencies about avoiding identity theft, such as by placing a “security freeze” on your credit accounts.
•Remove your name from mailing lists of pre-approved offers of credit for approximately six months.
•Receive and carefully review a free copy of your credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.
Barrette's letter also suggests people should carefully review all bills and credit card statements, and bank account statements for any suspicious purchases or debits.
The Federal Trade Commission offers consumer assistance and educational materials by calling (877) 438-4338, or by logging on to their website.
Here's a list of the facilities, including local facilities, that were affected by the data breach.
•Achieve Physical Therapy, PC
•CNY Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.C.
•Community Memorial Hospital, Inc
•Crouse Health Hospital, Inc
•Crouse Medical Practice PLLC
•Family Care Medical Group, PC
•Fitness Forum Physical Therapy, PC
•FLH Medical PC
•Greece Dermatological Associates, PC
•Guidone Physical Therapy, PC
•Hamilton Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
•Helendale Dermatological and Medical Spa, PLLC
•Kudos Medical, PLLC
•Laboratory Alliance of Central New York, LLC
•Liverpool Physical Therapy, PC
•Michael J Paciorek, MD PC
•Nephrology Associates of Watertown, PC
•Nephrology Hypertension Associates of CNY, PC
•Orthopedics East, PC
•Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital—Physician Practices
•St. Joseph’s Medical
•Surgical Care West, PLLC
•Syracuse Endoscopy Associates, LLC
•Syracuse Gastroenterological Associates, PC
•Tully Physical Therapy
•Upstate Community Medical, PC