Laurel clinic warns patients of data breach

Laurel clinic warns patients of data breach

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - A Laurel clinic has issued a warning to a small group of their patients after a recent data breach of their systems.

Jefferson Medical Associates issued a press release stating that privacy events may have compromised certain personal information.

The events are believed to be the result of criminal activity.

According to the release, on June 1 an unauthorized individual not affiliated with JMA accessed a database containing a limited history of prescriptions and other information for a small percentage of patients.

Based on the investigation, the individual unlawfully copied one of the practice's databases which included patient names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers as well as limited prescription information. Drug names, dosages, and refill quantities were also compromised.

JMA has since secured the database, disabled the ability for remote connections, and is implementing additional data security measures to prevent future incidents.

The release stated:

"At this time, investigators do not believe the individual who accessed the database has used the information acquired.  Instead, it is believed that the individual accessed the database only to demonstrate his ability to do so.  Through JMA's investigation of this issue, it also has learned that other remote connections were made to this database from unknown sources at various times between March 25, 2014, and June 1, 2016.  JMA has not been able to determine whether any of these other connections actually resulted in any acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of patient information, but it is possible."

JMA has mailed notice to all potentially affected patients of this incident and is offering one year of credit monitoring and identity protection services through AllClear ID™ at no cost to the affected patients.  In cooperation with law enforcement, JMA is continuing to investigate this incident.

"We sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience this incident has caused or may cause any of our valued patients," said Robby Graham, JMA's Administrator.  "We take the privacy of their health information as seriously as we do their care.  We want to assure our patients and the community we serve that we will continue to work both to understand this incident and to implement measures to further strengthen our data security."

Those who believe they may have been affected by this incident should contact JMA's dedicated incident response hotline at (855) 260-2771.

Jefferson Medical Associates, in Laurel, Mississippi, is one of the area's largest private, multi-specialty medical groups. Its physicians provide primary care, as well as sub-specialty medical care for residents of south central Mississippi.