BJC HealthCare Phishing Attack Affects PHI of Patients at 19 Hospitals

BJC Healthcare made an announcement about the unauthorized persons accessing the email accounts of three BJC employees after replying to the phishing emails in their inbox.

On March 6, 2020, BJC Healthcare noticed suspicious activity in the employees’ email accounts, which caused the prompt protection of the email accounts. A top-rated computer forensics agency helped to perform an investigation which showed that the attackers had just gained access to the three email accounts for a limited time period on March 6. The investigators are unable to confirm if the attacker viewed or acquired patient information.

An analysis of the accounts showed they held the records of patients at 19 BJC Healthcare and affiliated hospitals. The emails and file attachments comprised different protected health information (PHI) of patients that might have included these data elements:

Names of patients, birth dates, patient account numbers, medical record numbers, and some treatment and/or clinical data, which listed provider names, consultation dates, medicines, diagnoses, and testing details. The medical insurance data, driver’s license numbers, and Social Security numbers of selected patients were likewise possibly exposed.

BJC Healthcare will send notifications by mail to all patients impacted by the data breach once the email account evaluation is done. Patients who had their Social Security number or driver’s license number possibly exposed will be given credit monitoring and identity theft protection services at no cost.

BJC HealthCare mentioned additional security measures will be used to stop problems like this later on and hospital personnel will receive training once again to help them recognize and avert phishing email messages.

The BJC HealthCare and affiliated hospitals impacted by the incident include:

  1. Alton Memorial Hospital
  2. Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital
  3. Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
  4. Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  5. BJC Behavioral Health
  6. BJC Home Care
  7. BJC Corporate Health Services
  8. BJC Medical Group
  9. Boone Hospital Center
  10. Christian Hospital
  11. Louis Children’s Hospital
  12. Memorial Hospital Belleville
  13. Memorial Hospital East
  14. Missouri Baptist Physician Services, LLC
  15. Missouri Baptist Medical Center
  16. Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital
  17. Progress West Hospital
  18. Parkland Health Center Farmington
  19. Parkland Health Center Boone Terre