WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Ascension Providence is informing the public of data breach which occurred on March 2.
Ascension Texas Manager of Public Relations and Communications Jennifer Hudson says the company was alerted to a security event involving Ascension Providence’s legacy website. This was managed by a third party vendor, Vertex.
Hudson says the company worked closely with Vertex to investigate and understand what information was affected. Vertex hired a forensic investigator to review how access to encrypt the information was obtained.
Vertex also notified law enforcement about this event, and is continuing to cooperate with them. There are no details about affected information due to the nature of the incident and the encryption.
However, demographic information such as name, address, email address, phone number, insurance information, Social Security number (or tax identification number), or other clinical information would have been affected if this information was provided to the company by individuals on the legacy website, Providence.net. At this time, it is not believed that any information was removed from the affected systems or that it has been misused or shared. Ascension networks and medical record systems were not affected by this incident.
Hudson says the company takes the protection and safeguarding of information seriously, and has taken steps to ensure something like this does not happen again. The company has reviewed its processes for vendor-hosted websites and shut down the affected sites, creating new ones hosted by Ascension, as well as reviewed the type of information collected on these sites.
Ascension notified affected individuals and provided complimentary credit and identity theft protection services to those who had Social Security numbers, credit card information and/or insurance numbers impacted by the incident. The company also recommends for individuals to review credit and identity theft protection measures.
Hudson says the company has also reported this incident to the Office for Civil Rights in accordance with obligations under the HIPAA Rules and other regulatory agencies, as required.
If you have any questions, you can contact the dedicated assistance line, toll-free at (866) 547-1504, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.