Avera data security issue leaks sensitive information- SSNs, medical codes, addresses

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Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 11:36 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera was recently informed by one of its vendors, MCG Health, LLC, of a data security issue.

MCG, which provides patient care guidelines to health care providers and health plans, determined on March 25, 2022, that an unauthorized party previously obtained personal information about some patients and members of certain MCG customers, according to a press release.

The affected patient or member data included some or all of the following data elements: names, Social Security Numbers, medical codes, postal addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and gender.  Approximately 700 patients of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center were affected and will be individually notified by MCG via letter.

Upon learning of this issue, MCG took steps to understand its nature and scope. A leading forensic investigation firm was retained to assist in the investigation. Additionally, MCG is coordinating with law enforcement authorities. MCG has deployed additional monitoring tools and will continue to enhance the security of its systems.

On June 10, 2022, MCG began sending notices to certain individuals whose information was affected and advised them to monitor their credit reports and account information and to check for unfamiliar activity. If suspicious activity is observed, affected individuals should promptly contact the institution at which the account is maintained.

Representatives say Avera takes their patients’ information seriously, we apologize for any inconvenience and have cooperated fully to ensure people were notified in a timely manner.

MCG has established a dedicated toll-free telephone number for affected individuals who may have questions or who would like additional information about this issue. The toll-free number is 1-866-475-7221 and is available Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT); Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT).

Additional information is available at: mcg.com.

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