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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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Security breach might have exposed patient data, Puget Sound-area surgical group says


TACOMA — Patients of an area surgical group have received data-breach warnings this month following a security incident earlier this year.

Seattle-based Proliance Surgeons notified an undisclosed number patients whose information was potentially exposed in a Feb. 11 data breach. In a letter dated Nov. 20, the medical group said that “certain systems” within its network had been affected.

The incident resulted in “the potential unauthorized access and/or acquisition of certain files from the network,” the letter stated.

According to the surgical group, subsequent investigative sweeps determined what specific information was potentially accessed.

Affected individuals and specific information pertaining to them that was possibly at risk was included in the letters.

In a notice on the group’s website, it stated, “The information involved includes individual names, and one or more of the following: date of birth, Social Security number, medical treatment information, health insurance information, phone number, email address, financial account number, driver license or other identification information, and usernames and passwords.”

The letter recommended that recipients place fraud alerts on their credit files, or for those more worried about exposure, ordering a credit freeze with a major credit bureau (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) as well as other precautionary measures.

“We recommend regularly reviewing financial account statements for any signs of fraudulent activity and carefully checking explanation of benefits statements from health insurance providers,” the group’s website noted.

The surgical group also has set up a toll-free response line for those seeking assistance/more information: 1-833-609-3856.

Proliance Surgeons operates at more than 100 locations across the Puget Sound region. The group provides general surgery services as well as care regarding orthopedics, ear-nose-throat, urology, plastic surgery and other services. It has more than 400 providers.

Locally, its sites include Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Bonney Lake and Auburn.

In December 2020, Proliance announced another data breach incident. That one affected its corporate website. In that incident, the group said payment card information of customers using its online payment platform between November 13, 2019-June 24, 2020 may have been exposed.