Essentia Health is notifying more than 1,000 patients about a potential data breach from a former vendor that may have put health information at risk of exposure.
The breach was the result of an email phishing incident that Namadji Research Corporation fell victim to, recently notifying Essentia that patient information could have compromised. Namadji worked with Essentia as a third-party vendor assisting with billing services.
The hospital said it was not aware of any attempted or actual misuse of the information.
“Please be assured that Essentia Health is taking this incident very seriously,” said Julene Brown, Essentia Health Chief Compliance Officer, in a statement. “Patient privacy is crucially important to us and we apply significant time and resources to safeguard all patient-related information. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients.”
Essentia added that steps are being taken to investigate the incident and ensure privacy is maintained. All patients are also being offered free credit monitoring services.
Letters were mailed to all patients who were impacted by the incident, according to the hospital, and questions from patients and the community can be directed to 218-786-6404, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.