Choice Health Management Services, which owns several nursing homes throughout the Carolinas, announced it was the victim of a data breach. This breach potentially exposed the personal information of several current and former patients.
The company said cybercriminals may have gained access to several components of patients’ personal data, including full names, social security numbers and financial account information.
The facilities affected include Catawba Valley Assisted Living in Claremont, Saturn Health in Charlotte, and Universal Health Care locations in Lenoir and Concord.
The company said it initially noticed suspicious activity in employee email accounts in late 2019, but it didn’t conclude just how many people were affected until last month.
Breach Clarity tracks and rates the severity of data breaches across the country on a 1-to-10 scale. CEO Jim Van Dyke said Choice Health’s breach received a ’10,’ the most severe rating on his company’s scale, because of how much data may have been exposed.
“They got 17 identity credentials, which is astounding,” Van Dyke said. “That’s why this one absolutely maxes out our risk scale.”
He said Choice Health’s patients aren’t powerless when it comes to stopping potential identity theft. They can’t totally prevent identity theft, but they can minimize the risk if they take the right steps. The first step is to set up two-factor authentication for all financial accounts.
Choice Health declined to speak about the breach. The company cited steps it took after the breach, including notifying everyone affected, rebuilding computers and installing more cybersecurity measures.
Attorneys at Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of data breach victims. We are currently investigating this matter, as well as other data breaches. If you believe that your information may have been unlawfully accessed, please contact us to discuss your legal options.