Multnomah County has begun notifying patients of Southeast Health Center that their personal information may have been accessed during a break-in last month.
The Health Center was closed for construction Aug. 4, when an individual gained access to the building by breaking through a wall on the construction site. County staff discovered the break-in shortly afterwards and reported it to the Portland Police Bureau.
During the break-in, the individual accessed file cabinets that contained clients’ paper records. It is unknown if any records were viewed or removed.
The file cabinets included applications for the Oregon Health Plan for about 700 people. Those applications may have included any of the following information: applicant’s name, date of birth, address, email address, Social Security number, insurance number, information about minor children and copies of the applicant’s driver’s license, passport, Medicare card, utility bills, permanent resident card, birth certificate, consular ID, tax statements, certificates of naturalization, and pay stubs.
No personal health information regarding medical treatments, physician names or prescription information was accessed. There is no evidence that any patients’ information has been misused.
The Southeast Health Center was secured at the time of the break-in, but file cabinets inside the clinic were unlocked. The County has policies and procedures for securing personal information, and those policies are being reviewed with staff involved in this incident. The file cabinets have since been moved to a more secure location.
After completing its internal review, identifying the individuals affected and establishing services to support those patients, Multnomah County Health Department on Sept. 14 sent letters notifying all patients whose information was compromised.
The County is offering free identity theft protection services through IDX, a data breach and recovery service. IDX identity protection services include 12 months of credit and CyberScan monitoring, a $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement policy, and fully managed ID theft recovery services.
“Multnomah County takes privacy issues very seriously and are working to assure our document storage is secure going forward,’ said Tasha Wheatt-Delancy, Executive Director of the Multnomah County Community Health Center. “Patients trust us with their personal information and we want to do what we can to provide them peace of mind and protection from identity theft.’’Patients who have questions should contact 1-800-939-4170 or go to app.idx.us/account-creation/protect for assistance.