ALBANY – St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates has notified more than 500 patients who might have fallen victim to a privacy breach.
In a Tuesday press release, St. Peter’s said certain payment information contained in bank deposit bags between March 2 and July 20 for 14 practice locations in the Albany area, may be missing. The missing payment information is associated with cash, checks and credit card payments. The missing information does not include credit card numbers.
In a letter, mailed on Tuesday, St. Peter’s notified the 544 patients affected and offered them free credit protection and identity-theft services for one year.
Prior to discovery of the missing information, payments had been credited to individual patient accounts.
“SPHPMA takes this incident and the protection of our patients’ protected health information extremely seriously,” Privacy Officer Kate Barnhart said in a statement. “We apologize for the inconvenience and deeply regret any concern this situation may have caused. SPHPMA is committed to maintaining the privacy of all protected health information and proactively takes precautions to maintain the integrity and security of that information.”
During the period of time mentioned above, St. Peter’s used a contracted courier service to transport its deposit bags. St. Peter’s has since implemented enhanced procedures and controls to ensure the safety and security of the bank deposits. It has also reported this incident to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state authorities.
A call center for impacted patients has been established. Those with questions or concerns can call 1-833-704-9389 from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (excluding major U.S. holidays). The information shared is confidential.