Hospital offers info protection tips for data breach’s victims

Published 4:37 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our Lady of the Angels Hospital is recommending additional steps for those patients whose personal data may have been compromised in an incident first announced in September.

At that time, the hospital announced that a former employee improperly accessed 1,140 patient records from March 17, 2014, through July 25, 2017. The hospital notified each of the patients whose data may have been improperly viewed.

Although the investigation did not find any evidence that the former employee used or shared any personal information improperly, OLA officials still are recommending that the affected patients consider following these steps:

  • Review all credit reports — To obtain a free annual credit report, visit online at or call 1-877-322-8228.
  • Place fraud alerts with each of the three credit bureaus. Contact information for each is as follows:

Equifax Fraud Reporting — 1-800-525-6825, P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 (

Experian Fraud Reporting — 1-888-397-3742, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 (

TransUnion Fraud Reporting — 1-800-680-7289, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022-2000 (

It is necessary to contact only one of these bureaus and use only one of these methods. As soon as one of the three bureaus confirms a fraud alert, the others are notified to place alerts on their records. The alerting patient will then receive confirmation letters in the mail and will then be able to order all three credit reports, free of charge, for review.

  • Consider placing a security freeze — By placing a security freeze, someone who fraudulently acquires personal identifying information will not be able to use that information to open new accounts or borrow money in the patient’s name. Patients will need to contact the three national credit reporting bureaus listed above in writing, in order to place the freeze.

Keep in mind that upon placing the freeze, you will not be able to borrow money, obtain instant credit or get a new credit card until you temporarily lift or permanently remove the freeze. The cost of placing the freeze varies by the state you live in, and for each credit reporting bureau. The credit bureau may charge a fee of up to $5 to place a freeze, lift a freeze, or remove a freeze.

  • Seek out additional information on identity theft — For more information about the steps you can take to avoid identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Clearinghouse of the Federal Trade Commission at 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20580,, 1-877-IDTHEFT(438-4338), or 1-866-653-4261(TTY). The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them.

OLA officials stated that the information contained within the breached medical records included names, addresses, insurance information, phone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, gender, diagnosis, dates of services, places of services and certain clinical information such as orders, medications, test results and clinical abstracts.