Iowa Health System d/b/a UnityPoint Health suffers HIPAA email breach

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On April 16, 2018, UnityPoint Health submitted a HIPAA Email Breach to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Based in West Des Moines, Iowa, UnityPoint Health’s email breach affected 16,429 individuals’ protected health information.

UnityPoint Health is classified as a Business Associate.

According to UnityPoint Health’s statement:

On Feb. 15, UnityPoint Health discovered employees fell victim to a phishing attack that compromised their email accounts. Officials quickly attempted to secure information by changing passwords and bringing in external cyber security professionals.

The personal information potentially exposed includes patients’ dates of birth, medical record numbers, treatment information, surgical information, diagnoses, lab results, medications, providers, dates of service and insurance information. In some cases, individuals may have had their Social Security numbers compromised between November 2017 and February 2018.

All affected individuals were sent a letter on April 16 discussing the cyberattack.

“To date, we are not aware of any reports of identity fraud, theft, or improper use of information as a direct result of this incident. However, we want to make impacted individuals aware of the situation so they can take precautionary measures to protect their health information,” the letter reads.

UnityPoint Health is taking steps to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future.

HHS Wall of Shame

The HHS Wall of Shame is a website under the jurisdiction of HHS that lists all HIPAA breaches reported within the last 24 months. The Wall of Shame displays breaches that are currently under investigation by the Office for Civil Rights.

As part of section 13402(e)(4) of the HITECH Act, the HHS Secretary must post a list of breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals.

HIPAA Breach Report

The Paubox HIPAA Breach Report analyzes breaches that affected 500 or more individuals as reported in the HHS Wall of Shame.

Try Paubox Email Suite for FREE today.

About the author

Arianna Etemadieh

Arianna is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Paubox. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and volunteering at the animal shelter.

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