Presbyterian data breach affects some 183,000 patients - Albuquerque Journal

Presbyterian data breach affects some 183,000 patients

(COURTESY OF NAIOP)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Presbyterian Healthcare Services reported a data breach that allowed unauthorized access to personal information belonging to around 183,000 patients and health plan members.

On Friday, Presbyterian began mailing letters to alert the members and patients affected by the breach.

Melanie Mozes, spokeswoman for Presbyterian, said the breach allowed access to names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and other types of information after a Presbyterian employee responded to a “phishing” scam designed to gain access to private information. Mozes added that most of the victims were New Mexico residents.

She said the health care provider doesn’t believe any of the information has been used in any way. President and CEO Dale Maxwell said in a prepared statement that there is no evidence that hackers accessed electronic health record or billing information.

“At Presbyterian, we take the responsibility of protecting the privacy of our patients and members very seriously,” Maxwell said. “We deeply regret that this event occurred and are committed to taking steps to help prevent this type of incident from happening again.”

Presbyterian serves around 855,000 patients and members across New Mexico.

Phishing scams involve deceptive emails or text messages designed to trick users into giving scammers personal information, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Around May 9, Presbyterian employees fell victim to a deceptive email, allowing anonymous, unauthorized access to information normally protected by the health care provider.

Mozes said Presbyterian became aware of the incident on June 6, and responded by securing and reviewing the affected email accounts and letting federal law enforcement know about the data breach.

Jodi McGinnis Porter, director of communications for the New Mexico Human Services Department, confirmed that some of the residents impacted were Medicaid recipients, though she did not provide an estimate of how many were affected.

She added that the Human Services Department is encouraging Medicaid members who have been a member or who have received health care services through a Presbyterian provider to carefully review their health statements and verify that the information is correct.

“Identity theft is alive and real,” McGinnis Porter said.

In order to prevent future data breaches, Mozes said Presbyterian is adding additional security measures to protect its email system, which will complement its existing annual security training for employees.

Presbyterian is offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services for members. It has also established a dedicated call center to answer questions from impacted members. Members can call 833-297-6405 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

ID theft stings, but it’s hard to pin on specific data hacks

Home » News » Crime » Presbyterian data breach affects some 183,000 patients


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
APD investigating homicide in NE Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police suspect foul play in ... Albuquerque police suspect foul play in the death of a man at an apartment complex off of Central near Tramway early Sunday morning. Gilbert ...
2
NEA grants 15 NM arts organizations $1.16M
ABQnews Seeker
The National Endowment for the Arts ... The National Endowment for the Arts announced its latest round of grants to arts organizations. Fifteen New Mexico organizations will receive a total of ...
3
Inn at Rio Rancho will reopen as apartment complex
ABQnews Seeker
Panorama Apartments will feature 102 units, ... Panorama Apartments will feature 102 units, major renovations
4
Burnout victim: ‘I cannot participate in the hustle culture’
ABQnews Seeker
Dear J.T. & Dale: I'm in ... Dear J.T. & Dale: I'm in my late 20s, single, and I struggle with several chronic illnesses. I cannot participate in the hustle culture. ...
5
Lobo hoops notes: Schedule nearly complete, staff movement, Maluach ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Lobos's 2022-23 schedule is nearly ... The Lobos's 2022-23 schedule is nearly complete, UNM is getting a new video coordinator, former Lobo Makuach Maluach's new team...
6
Clovis antique store to close doors after nearly 40 ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Prairie Peddler, an antique store ... The Prairie Peddler, an antique store in downtown Clovis, is closing after being a fixture in the community since 1983. The store is closing ...
7
Journal Poll: Ronchetti enjoys big lead over GOP rivals ...
2022 election
Strong name recognition puts ex-meteorologist at ... Strong name recognition puts ex-meteorologist at top of primary pack
8
State removes breakthrough case data from COVID reports
ABQnews Seeker
Move comes as vaccinated people comprise ... Move comes as vaccinated people comprise greater share of infections
9
ABQ resident donates grand piano to Easter Island
ABQnews Seeker
Loralee Cooley gifts her beloved Steinway ... Loralee Cooley gifts her beloved Steinway to the School of Music and Arts of Rapa Nui