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July 08, 2018

Potential data breach by employee at Arkansas Children’s Hospital

A former employee of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas is under investigation for the potential misuse of patients’ private information.  The former employee accessed an unidentified number of patients’ personal identifiers while employed with the hospital.  The employee was employed from November 7, 2016 to February 6, 2018, at which time the employee was terminated.  Now, everyone whose accounts were accessed by the former employee are now at greater risk of identity theft.

According to the hospital, all patient accounts and by the terminated employee have been audited.  The hospital is in the process of alerting patients affected by the data breach and is also offering free credit monitoring to all affected patients.

Patients of Arkansas Children’s Hospital should monitor their credit reports for any suspicious activity, including the opening of new accounts that they did not authorize.  They should also watch their credit card statements and bank accounts for fraudulent charges.  Finally, since their health insurance information was possibly compromised, potentially affected patients should check their Explanation of Benefits for any fraudulent charges to their insurance for treatment not received by the patients.

Affected patients can also call the Arkansas Children’s Hospital at 855-880-9242.

Hospitals are a prime source of potential data breaches due to the treasure trove of cosnumers’ personal identifiers and financial information they are required to obtain to provide treatment.  Couple the amount of valuable personal information with high employee turnover and often lackluster data protection controls and you have a potential bonanza for those wanting to steal personal information for later identity theft.