35,000 Patients Affected by ATI Physical Therapy Data Breach

Officials from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have released tips to protect against identity theft after announcing notifications to some 4 million current and former federal employees whose personal information may have been compromised in a cyber security incident. (Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall PAO graphic by Helen Klein)

ATI Physical Therapy has found that protected health information of over 35,000 of its clients may have been accessed when hacker captured details within the email accounts of some of its staff members.

A security breach was found on January 18, 2018 when ATI Physical Therapy found that the direct deposit details of some of its workers had been amended in its payroll database. Swift action was taken to safeguard its staff and external forensic investigators were called in to investigate the full extent and scope of the breach.

The investigation showed that the email accounts of certain staff members had been compromised and were accessed by unauthorized ipersons between January 9 and January 12, 2018. An analysis of the email contained in the accounts showed they included the protected health information of tens of thousands of patients.

The range of information potentially accessed varied per impacted person, but may have included names, dates of birth, credit/debit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, state ID numbers, Social Security numbers, Medicare/Medicaid information, health insurance information, billing/claims data, medical record details, patient ID numbers, financial account details, disability codes, diagnoses, treatment specifics, prescription information, and physicians’ and therapists’ identities.

ATI Physical Therapy has revealed that only a small number of patients had their Social Security numbers accessed.

Patients affected by the phishing incident have now been alerted by mail and have been offered credit monitoring services for free. Patients will also be safguarded by a $1 million identity theft insurance policy. No proof of improper of information has been found by ATI Physical Therapy of the forensic investigators.

ATI Physical Therapy’s review into the breach is ongoing and actions have been taken to enhance email security to stop future breaches and staff members have been provided with training to help them find phishing emails.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) breach report portal shows that 35,136 patients have possibly have their protected health information obtained.