Posted On September 30, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
On September 16, 2022, Country Doctor Community Clinic (“CDCC”) filed notice of a data breach with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights after the company experienced a hacking/IT incident. However, news of the Country Doctor Community Doctor Clinic breach is still fresh, and the company has yet to post notice of the incident on its website. Thus, it remains unknown what led up to the breach or the type of information that was leaked. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, CDCC began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the CDCC data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed. As a part of this investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Country Doctor Community Clinic.
The available information regarding the Country Doctor Community Clinic breach comes from the company’s filing with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. However, information on the HHS Office of Civil Rights data breach portal is very limited. Thus, all that is currently known about the recent data security incident is that it came about as a result of a hacking/IT incident and that an estimated 38,751 individuals were affected.
On September 16, 2022, Country Doctor Community Clinic sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Founded in 1971, Country Doctor Community Clinic is a healthcare services provider based in Seattle, Washington. The company operates several clinics in the Seattle area, including Carolyn Downs Medical Center, Country Doctor Community Clinic, Dental Clinic and After Hours Clinic. Through these facilities, CDCC provides patients with routine primary care, as well as diabetes diagnosis & management, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health services, dental care, and more. Country Doctor Community Clinic employs more than 193 people and generates approximately $18 million in annual revenue.
Data breaches are becoming increasingly common as a larger amount of data is stored online and in the cloud. In fact, last year, more than 320 million people across the world fell victim to one or more breaches. So far, in 2022, there appears to be a pattern of hackers targeting healthcare providers, likely in an attempt to obtain patients’ protected health information, which is incredibly valuable on the dark web.
Given the frequency with which these breaches occur, it is essential that anyone who receives a data breach notice from Country Doctor Community Clinic or any other company understands the risks and what they can do to protect themselves.
The biggest risk after a data breach is that a hacker or other criminal actor uses your personal information to steal your identity. While there is nothing you can do to prevent a data breach from occurring, there are certain steps you can take after learning of a breach to reduce the chances of falling victim to identity theft or other frauds.
The first thing to do after receiving notice of a data breach or data security incident is to review the data breach letter to determine what information was compromised. How you respond will depend in part on the type of data that was exposed. For example, if your protected health information or Social Security number was leaked, you may consider additional steps to protect yourself. So, while these steps apply to data breaches generally, they should not be seen as an exhaustive list.
Often, hackers try to use any stolen information as quickly as possible, before victims of the breach can close their accounts, change their passwords, or place a credit freeze. Thus, responding promptly is imperative. However, just because you don’t notice any fraudulent charges or other unauthorized activity doesn’t mean you are in the clear; it may take some time for criminals to obtain other information they need to steal your identity. Thus, it is imperative that you diligently check your online bank and credit card accounts, as well as your credit report. This includes checking accounts that were not compromised in the breach.
Credit monitoring is a service that monitors your credit and alerts you to any sudden changes or suspicious activity. This service typically costs between $20 and $40 per month. However, after reporting a data breach, companies usually offer victims free credit monitoring for a period of time. It is a good idea to sign up for free credit monitoring, as it can help you determine if an unauthorized party is trying to access your credit. Further, signing up for free credit monitoring doesn’t impact your rights to bring a data breach lawsuit against the company that leaked your information if the company was negligent leading up to the breach.
The three major credit bureaus allow consumers to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on their credit accounts. A fraud alert notifies potential creditors that a consumer’s information was recently exposed in a data breach and puts them on notice that anyone trying to open up a new line of credit may be an imposter. A credit freeze offers additional protection by preventing any company from pulling your credit without your advance approval. The Identity Theft Resource Center has repeatedly explained that placing a credit freeze on your credit account is the single best way to prevent fraud after a data breach.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the CDCC data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.