First Choice Community Healthcare Data Breach Investigation
The Lyon Firm is actively involved in data privacy and data theft cases and is currently investigating First Choice Community Healthcare data breach on behalf of victims and plaintiffs nationwide.
First Choice Community Healthcare, out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has begun notifying over 101,000 patients that an unauthorized individual gained access to its network and potentially stole sensitive data.
In their breach notification, First Choice said that unusual activity was detected on March 27, 2022, the following information may be compromised:
- Social Security numbers
- Patient ID number
- Clinical treatment information
- Health insurance information
- Date of birth
What is the First Choice Community Healthcare Community?
First Choice Community Healthcare is a hospital and health care company in New Mexico with nine health centers that provide primary medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare services to its patients.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated data breach lawyer and Privacy Attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in class action security breach lawsuits.
Can You Sue following the First Choice Data Breach?
Entities that collect and store data have a duty to protect personal information to the best of their ability. When they are negligent, and a data theft incident occurs, they may be liable for the following:
- Improperly monitoring data security systems for existing intrusions
- Not ensuring that vendors with access to computer systems and data employ reasonable security procedures
- Improperly training employees in handling emails containing personal data and maintain adequate email security practices
- Failure to implement technical policies and procedures to allow electronic data access only to individuals or software programs granted access rights
- Failure to implement procedures to review records of information system activity regularly, such as audit logs, access reports and security incident tracking reports
- Improperly protecting against reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of stored data
An experienced class action privacy attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a data breach lawsuit or join a class of plaintiffs. Lawyers investigating the matter can assist in determining the following:
- Did First Choice fail to adopt security safeguards that would have prevented a breach?
- Did First Choice notify customers as soon as it learned of the incident?
- Did First Choice provide a complete list of all individuals impacted?
- Did the company provide security in line with industry standards?
The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule calls for data breach notifications to be issued to the Secretary of the Health and Human Services “without unnecessary delay.” No later than 60 days after the date of discovery of a data breach, healthcare entities have a duty to alert the government and begin preparing to alert the public.
Consumer privacy attorneys say there has been a trend for HIPAA-regulated entities to wait as long as possible before alerting affected individuals, a practice that place consumers at a higher risk of identity theft and fraud.
In many cases, data breach notifications have been sent out many months after a security breach incident was detected. There may be valid reasons for a delay in reporting, though in some cases this institutes a severe disservice to those impacted by a data theft event.
Delays to individual data theft notifications could mean individuals’ Personal Health Information (PHI) has been in the hands of criminals for many months before they are even aware about the data theft.
Privacy lawyers claim promptly sending out individual data breach notification letters and being transparent about the fraud risk for individuals is not only ethical, but the only way to avoid stiff penalties.
The HHS has made it clear that if healthcare entities do not comply with the 60 day rule from the date of data breach discovery, they may be liable for notification violations.
Current or former First Choice patients:
We would like to speak with you about your privacy rights and potential legal remedies in response to this data security incident. Please fill out the contact form, below, or contact us by phone.
If you were impacted by a data breach, you may consider taking the following steps to protect your personal information:
- Review the breach notice you received and retain a copy
- Enroll in any free credit monitoring service provided by the breached company
- Change your passwords and security questions for related online accounts
- Review account statements and credit reports for signs of fraud or identity theft
- Contact a credit bureau to request a temporary fraud alert
What Should You Do Following a Data Breach?
Regardless of the reason for a security breach, victims have the right to file a claim against a company for failing to protect their information. All companies and organizations must exercise reasonable care in protecting patient information, and if they do not, they can be held liable for the damages that result, including identity theft.
Security breach plaintiffs and privacy attorneys representing plaintiffs have been able to settle multi-million dollar recoveries. If you or a loved one has received notice of a data breach affecting you, or suspect signs of identity theft, contact a data theft lawyer for a free consultation.
Individuals can be ruined financially and emotionally, and deserve proper online security measures. But many companies and hospitals violate privacy laws and consumer rights, and thus face class action lawsuits.
After a data breach turns your life upside down, remember that you are not the only victim. There are millions of Americans who suffer from data privacy events every year, and in turn, seek legal action for compensation and to hold companies accountable for negligent security systems.
If you want more information on current data privacy litigation and how to file a data theft class action lawsuit, contact The Lyon Firm for a free and confidential First Choice data breach case review.