Notice of Data Privacy Event
ABOUT THE DATA PRIVACY EVENT
NorthStar Anesthesia, (“NorthStar”) recently discovered an event that may affect the security of some personal information in NorthStar’s care. We are providing notice of the event so potentially affected individuals may take steps to better protect against possible misuse of information, should they feel it appropriate to do so.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What Happened? Between May 23 and 24, 2018, NorthStar learned of an email phishing campaign that resulted in the compromise of certain employees’ email credentials. NorthStar immediately took steps to respond and commenced an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident, as well as determine what information may be affected. The investigation included working with third party forensic investigators. Through the investigation, NorthStar determined that an unauthorized actor(s) gained access to certain employee email accounts between April 3 and May 24, 2018. The investigation also determined that the emails affected by this incident contained personal information.
Q. What Information Was Involved? While the information potentially affected varies by individual, NorthStar’s investigation determined that the information that may have been affected includes name, date of birth, health insurance application or claims information, health insurance policy or subscriber number, health information, IRS identity protection number, taxpayer identification number, medical history information, treatment and diagnosis information, and medical record number. For certain individuals, this incident may have also affected Social Security number.
Q. What is NorthStar Doing to respond? The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in our care is one of our highest priorities. Upon learning of the email phishing event, we commenced an investigation to confirm the nature and scope of the incident and identify any individuals who may be affected. We have been working, with the assistance of third party forensic investigators, to identify and notify potentially impacted individuals. NorthStar is also offering potentially impacted individuals access to credit monitoring and identity restoration services for two (2) years at no cost.
While we have security measures in place to protect information in our care, we are also implementing additional safeguards to protect the security of information. NorthStar has also provided notice of this incident to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as required state regulators.
Q. What Can I Do to Protect My Information?
Monitor Your Accounts
Credit Reports. We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your personal account statements and explanation of benefit forms and monitoring your free credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report. Contact information for the credit reporting agencies can be found below.
Fraud Alerts. At no charge, you can also have the three major credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it may also delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19106
Security Freeze. You may also place a security freeze on your credit reports. A security freeze prohibits a credit bureau from releasing any information from a consumer’s credit report without the consumer’s written authorization. However, please be advised that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing, or other services. If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you provide the credit bureau with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift, or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit bureau may charge you a fee to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $3 to $15. You will need to place a security freeze separately with each of the three major credit bureaus listed above if you wish to place a freeze on all of your credit files. In order to request a security freeze, you will need to supply your full name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, current address, all addresses for up to five previous years, email address, a copy of your state identification card or driver’s license, and a copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, or other statement proving residence. To find out more on how to place a security freeze, you can use the following contact information:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, security freezes, fraud alerts, and the steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or your state Attorney General, as well as the credit reporting agencies listed above. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should be reported to law enforcement, the Federal Trade Commission, and your state Attorney General. Notice of this incident was not delayed as the result of a law enforcement investigation.
For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General can be reached at: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-888-743-0023; and www.oag.state.md.us. NorthStar Anesthesia is located at 6225 State Highway 161, Suite 200.
For North Carolina residents, the North Carolina Attorney General can be contacted by mail at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; by phone toll-free at 1-877-566-7226; by phone at 1-919-716-6400; and online at www.ncdoj.gov.
For Rhode Island residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General can be contacted by mail at 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903; by phone at (401) 274-4400; and online at www.riag.ri.gov. To date, approximately 20 Rhode Island residents are known to be potentially impacted by this incident. You have the right to file and obtain a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that, in order to file a crime report or incident report with law enforcement for identity theft, you may be asked to provide some kind of proof that you have been a victim.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act: the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from a violator. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing to the Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For Massachusetts residents, you have the right to file and obtain a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that, in order to file a crime report or incident report with law enforcement for identity theft, you may be asked to provide some kind of proof that you have been a victim. If you have been the victim of identity theft, and you provide a credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge up to $5 to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze. The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to place a security freeze on your credit file report. The credit bureaus must also send written confirmation to you within five (5) business days and provide you with a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password, or both, that can be used by you to authorize the removal or lifting of the security freeze. To lift the security freeze in order to allow a specific entity or individual access to your credit report, you must call or send a written request to the credit reporting agencies by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze, as well as the identities of those entities or individuals you would like to receive your credit report or the specific period of time you want the credit report available. To remove the security freeze, you must send a written request to each of the three credit bureaus by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze. The credit bureaus have three (3) business days after receiving your request to remove the security freeze.
Q. Where Can I Go To Get More Information? NorthStar has set up a dedicated assistance line to answer questions regarding this incident. The dedicated assistance line may be reached at (888) 685-7768 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 7 am - 7 pm Central Time.