Although unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of patient information, Oklahoma Heart Hospital (“OHH”) is providing notice to certain patients of an incident involving limited patient information.
On May 13, 2021, OHH became aware that handwritten notes containing information for a limited number of OHH patients had been mistakenly donated to charity by a former employee. The notes were created by the former OHH employee during the course of that individual’s employment from 2011 to 2014 and had been erroneously donated along with other personal items. OHH was made aware of the notes when an individual located the items and contacted OHH. OHH promptly regained possession of the notes.
Upon learning of the incident, OHH immediately began an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the impacted patient information. OHH’s investigation revealed that the donations were made in May 2021, shortly before OHH was contacted by the individual who initially found the handwritten notes. OHH immediately undertook efforts to collect and catalog all of the notes in order to identify potentially affected patients. OHH determined, through its investigation, that the information potentially at risk included a limited number of OHH patients’ names, medical record numbers, OHH visit numbers, dates of birth, ages, admit dates, genders, and clinical information consisting of diagnosis, lab results, medications and/or treatment information.
No OHH medical records were involved, and OHH’s patient record systems remain secure. While OHH does not have any evidence of misuse of the patient information, in an abundance of caution, OHH is mailing notice to those impacted by this incident on July 12, 2021. The notification letters include information about the event and steps that can be taken to safeguard one’s information. Specifically, OHH encourages impacted patients to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing their account statements and explanations of benefits for suspicious or anomalous activity. Any suspicious activity should be promptly reported to the appropriate provider, insurer, or financial institution. Additional resources are outlined in the Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Information below.
OHH has established a dedicated call center for individuals to contact with questions or concerns. This dedicated call center can be reached at 1-833-468-1010 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding national holidays.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION
Although no Social Security numbers were impacted, under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com
or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below 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 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 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 by law enforcement.