On February 9, 2021, an FPH staff member found a broken window at the unoccupied home at 939 New York Avenue. The police were contacted, and a report was filed. The police have qualified this as a “burglary.” It was later determined that a number of 5+ year old computer towers, a laptop, and a number of other devices (phones, keyboards, monitors, backup servers, and the like) were taken. It was determined that none of the files stored in that space were taken or touched. Existing residents were notified on February 11, 2021, of the theft.
FPH believes the probability is low that protected health information (PHI)/financial information of residents or staff was accessible on the items stolen due to FPH’s longstanding practice and policy regarding the storage of protected health information, and the age and condition of the items. We could not confirm exactly what information was on the equipment and we do not believe that the equipment was encrypted.
We want to assure you that FPH takes its responsibility to safeguard personal information very seriously. As a result of this incident, FPH immediately launched an internal investigation into this matter and began taking steps to reduce the risk of future unauthorized access to information. Below is a summary of the investigation performed by FPH and the preventative measures implemented to reduce the risk of similar events like this from happening in the future.
-The Lakeland Police Department is continuing the investigation of this burglary;
-FPH talked with neighbors of 939 New York Avenue;
-FPH inventoried the accounting office files stored in 939 New York Avenue and determined none of the files were touched or taken;
-FPH has inventoried all of the possible tech items that have been stolen and sent that inventory to the Lakeland Police Department;
-FPH has investigated if any of the items had been encrypted or if information on the storage drives was deleted. Based on the documented information found to date, we cannot confirm that any or all of the information on the technology stolen had or had not been encrypted or if the information on the storage drives had been deleted;
-Based on past practice, as the equipment stolen was older than 5+ years, no protected health information or financial information would have been stored on the equipment. All protected health information is presently stored in the cloud through our Electronic Medical Records and Accounting program and would not be accessible through the stolen technology.
-FPH moved all files from 939 New York Ave. into a double-locked secure room that is not accessible via window entry and the room has a camera monitor and is located within one of our larger buildings where people work and live;
-FPH’s new Information Technology vendor has encrypted all computers and servers, and policies and practices have been updated regarding the storage, destruction, and timely disposition of such technology;
-FPH has installed motion sensor lighting and alarms on 939 New York Avenue. The house has been secured and will not be used for storage of protected information nor assets.
– We continue to touch base with Lakeland Police for updates on a monthly basis;
-FPH has invested in a HIPAA Management Program that will be utilized by our HIPAA Privacy Officer and our CFO. We are presently undertaking a HIPAA GAP Analysis in order to minimize future risks.
If you have any concern that this possible breach may impact you in any manner, please consider the following protective actions:
Although you are not required to take any action, we suggest that you immediately take the following steps:
- Call the toll-free numbers of any one of the three major credit bureaus (below) to place a fraud alert on your credit report. This can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified to place alerts on your credit report, and all three reports will be sent to you free of charge.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069.
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013.
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
- Order your credit reports. By establishing a fraud alert, you will receive a follow-up letter that will explain how you can receive a free copy of your credit report. When you receive your credit report, examine it closely and look for signs of fraud, such as credit accounts that are not yours.
- Continue to monitor your accounts (bank and credit card accounts as examples) for any improper information posted.
Out of an abundance of caution, FPH has set up a toll-free phone number for residents and staff that have a concern. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you need additional information regarding this incident. The toll-free number is 1-833-586-1686.
We deeply regret that this incident occurred and as shared in this notice, steps have been taken to address it and guard against it in the future.
Joseph J. Xanthopoulos
Chief Executive Officer and