Coastal Hospice notifies community of data breach

Coastal Hospice is notifying affected individuals following a 2023 data security incident.

Late last month, Coastal Hospice began notifying affected individuals regarding a network disruption that occurred in July 2023.

“This disruption did not impact our ability to provide care to our patients and families,” said Alejandra Lazcano, director of communications at Coastal Hospice. “Our IT team, along with security experts, acted quickly and our information was able to be secured. Coastal Hospice is not aware of the misuse of any potentially affected information. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, we recommend our community to remain vigilant and review account statements and credit reports closely.”

According to an announcement on the Coastal Hospice website, a network disruption July 24, resulted in an immediate investigation. That investigation, which was conducted by cybersecurity experts, revealed that certain files may have been acquired without authorization. In late November, certain individuals’ person and/or protected health information was “identified as being contained within the potentially affected data.”

Coastal Hospice issued letters Jan. 22 to people potentially impacted.

“Coastal Hospice has enhanced its network security and has reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an effort to hold the perpetrators accountable,” the Coastal Hospice notice reads.

Information that may have been involved in the incident includes social security number, date of birth, medical diagnosis information, health insurance policy number, physician information, medical condition and patient account number.

Those with questions about the incident are invited to reach out to a call center established to address concerns. Representatives are available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 1-888-541-0492.

The nonprofit also advises anyone who may be impacted to review their debit and credit card statements regularly for any unusual activity. Individuals can also consider putting a fraud alert on their credit report. The alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within the reports and requests that the creditor contact the individual prior to establishing any accounts in the individual’s name.

Coastal Hospice takes the privacy and security of all data and systems very seriously and safeguarding and maintaining the confidentiality of our patient and employee information remains our utmost priority.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.