RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A data breach may have exposed the medical records of nearly 4,500 organ donors and transplant recipients at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System as early as 2006.
Records of organ donors and recipients at VCU Health, including Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, lab results and personal information, could have been accessible by other donors, recipients or their representatives when logging into their patient portal, according to the health system.
VCU Health says its investigation found no evidence indicating that any vulnerable information was misused, and that the general public could not have accessed the records. The system added that the issue has been resolved.
The health system became aware of an issue on Feb. 7 in which some protected health information were made viewable, and then later determined that more medical records were accessible between March 29 and May 27.
VCU Health says it has been working with external cybersecurity professionals as part of its investigation into the breach. VCU added that it has sent letters to notify individuals who potentially were impacted, which the health system says is 4,441 donors and recipients.
“Notified individuals have been provided with best practices to protect their information, including placing a fraud alert and security freeze on their credit files, and obtaining a free credit report,” VCU Health wrote in an alert. “Notified individuals are reminded to remain vigilant in reviewing financial account statements on a regular basis for any fraudulent activity.”
The health system suggests that people who could have had their personal information exposed in the breach should review the explanations of their benefit statements that their health insurance providers share and follow up on items they don’t recognize.
Organ donors and recipients who may have had their Social Security numbers involved in the breach have been offered complimentary credit monitoring, VCU Health said.
A VCU Health spokesperson did not immediately respond to 8News’ request for additional information.
For further questions or additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if you may be impacted, VCU Health has set up a dedicated toll-free response line for individuals to ask questions. Customers can call the response line at 855-610-3514, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.