An unknown third party accessed employee email accounts at Columbus, OH-based Ohio Living in July, putting at risk the personal or protected health information of people who “attended an Ohio Living facility and/or received treatment from an Ohio Living facility,” the organization announced after close of business on Friday.
The not-for-profit organization employs more than 3,000 people and serves more than 73,000 people annually through its 12 Ohio Living Communities continuing care retirement communities and through Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, according to its website.
Ohio Living said in an announcement that it first became aware of suspicious activity related to an employee email account on July 10. “Working together with a leading computer forensics expert, Ohio Living’s investigation determined that an unknown individual accessed employee email accounts,” the company said.
July 19, Ohio Living determined that some potential unauthorized log-ins to some employee email accounts had occurred, the company said. Sept. 4, the organization ascertained that the unauthorized third party may have acquired names, contact information, Social Security numbers, financial information, dates of birth, medical record numbers, patient identification numbers, medical and/or clinical information such as diagnosis and treatment information, and health insurance information contained in the emails.
“Ohio Living cannot confirm whether any individual’s personal information was actually accessed, viewed or acquired without permission,” the company said, adding that it was “providing this notification out of an abundance of caution.”
Ohio Living said that as soon as it learned of the incident, the employee email account known to be affected was disabled and the password was changed. The company said it also alerted other employees to watch for suspicious-looking emails and implemented password resets for all employees.
Workers are being trained to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, the company said. Affected individuals are being offered access to complimentary credit monitoring services as an added precaution, according to Ohio Living.
Those who have questions or would like additional information may visit Ohio Living’s website or call the dedicated assistance line that has been set up at (877) 670-0980. The phone line is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET weekdays.