Avamere Health Services, LLC Provides Notice of Data Security Incident

On 7/13/22, Avamere Health Services, LLC (“Avamere”) notified certain individuals about a security incident. Specifically, we recently determined that intermittent unauthorized access to a third-party hosted network utilized by Avamere occurred between January 19, 2022 and March 17, 2022. Upon learning of the issue, we commenced a prompt and thorough investigation in consultation with outside cybersecurity professionals, which determined that an unauthorized party potentially removed a limited number of files and folders from the network.

After an extensive investigation, we concluded between May 18, 2022 and October 18, 2022 that the files and folders that were potentially removed from our system contained identifiable protected health information such as full names, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license or state identification numbers, Social Security numbers, claims information, financial account numbers, medications information, lab results, and medical diagnosis/conditions information. Not all information was included for all individuals.*

Out of an abundance of caution, Avamere notified individuals whose information was included in the impacted files and folders. Notified individuals have been provided complimentary credit monitoring services as well as best practices to protect their information, including but not limited to reviewing the explanation of benefits statements they receive from their health insurance providers and following up on any items or services not recognized. Additional safeguards are outlined below.*

The security and privacy of personal information is of the utmost importance. Since the incident, our Information Technology (“IT”) department and external security experts have reviewed and enhanced our systems to reduce the chance of a similar event from occurring in the future.

For individuals who have questions or need additional information regarding this incident, or to determine if they are impacted, Avamere has established a dedicated toll-free response line at (833) 909-4422. The response line is available Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm Pacific.

This notification is being provided on behalf of the following entities to whom Avamere is a Business Associate as defined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”):

  • A-One Home Health Services, LLC
  • Avamere at Albany
  • Avamere at Bethany
  • Avamere at Cascadia Village
  • Avamere at Chestnut Lane
  • Avamere at Englewood Heights
  • Avamere at Hermiston
  • Avamere at Hillsboro
  • Avamere at Las Vegas
  • Avamere at Lexington
  • Avamere at Moses Lake
  • Avamere at Mountain Ridge
  • Avamere at Newberg
  • Avamere at Oak Park
  • Avamere at Pacific Ridge
  • Avamere at Park Place
  • Avamere at Port Townsend
  • Avamere at Rio Rancho
  • Avamere at Roswell
  • Avamere at Sandy
  • Avamere at Seaside
  • Avamere at Seaside
  • Avamere at Sherwood
  • Avamere at South Hill
  • Avamere at St. Helens
  • Avamere at the Stratford
  • Avamere at Three Fountains
  • Avamere at Waterford
  • Avamere at Wenatchee
  • Avamere Court at Keizer
  • Avamere Crestview of Portland
  • Avamere Fern Gardens Memory Care
  • Avamere Gresham Rehabilitation and Specialty Care
  • Avamere Harmony House of Bend
  • Avamere Health Services of Rogue Valley
  • Avamere Heritage Rehabilitation of Tacoma
  • Avamere Home Health Care, LLC
  • Avamere Living at Berry Park
  • Avamere Olympic Care of Sequim
  • Avamere Rehabilitation at Fiesta Park
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Beaverton
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Cascade Park
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Clackamas
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Coos Bay
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Eugene
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Hillsboro
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Junction City
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of King City
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Lebanon
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Newport
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Oregon City
  • Avamere Rehabilitation of Richmond Beach
  • Avamere Riverpark of Eugene
  • Avamere St. Francis of Bellingham
  • Avamere Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Bellingham
  • Avamere Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Boise
  • Avamere Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Brighton
  • Avamere Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Malley
  • Avamere Transitional Care at Sunnyside
  • Avamere Transitional Care of Puget Sound
  • Avamere Twin Oaks of Sweethome
  • Bend Transitional Care
  • Infinity Rehab
  • Laurelhurst Village
  • Northwest Hospice, LLC
  • NP2U, LLC
  • Prime Home Health, LLC
  • Queen Anne Healthcare
  • Salem Transitional Care
  • Signature Coastal, LLC
  • Signature Home Health Bend, LLC
  • Signature Hospice Eugene, LLC
  • Signature Hospice Medford, LLC
  • Signature Hospice Nampa, LLC
  • Signature Hospice Oregon Coast, LLC
  • Suzanne Elise Assisted Living Facility
  • The Arbor at Avamere Court
  • The Arbor at Bend
  • The Arbor at Bremerton
  • The Pearl at Kruse Way
  • The Stafford

*Through the ongoing investigation, we concluded on June 22, 2022 that the above-described security incident also included the following two covered entities, for whom individuals whose information was included in the impacted files and folders will also be provided notice as well as the complimentary credit monitoring services described above:

MultiCare Health System
NW Momentum Health Partners ACO, LLC

For these two covered entities, the protected health information involved may have included full names, medical diagnosis/conditions information, admit/discharge dates, and provider names related to dates of service between September 2016 through November 2021.

– OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION –

Placing a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File.

You may place an initial 1-year “fraud alert” on your credit files, at no charge. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you personally before they open any new accounts. To place a fraud alert, call any one of the three major credit bureaus at the numbers listed below. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, they will notify the others.

Equifax

P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348

https://www.equifax.com/ personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/ 

(800) 525-6285

Experian 

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

https://www.experian.com/ fraud/center.html

(888) 397-3742

TransUnion LLC

P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, PA 92834-6790

https://www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts 

(800) 680-7289

Placing a Security Freeze on Your Credit File.

If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may request a “security freeze” be placed on your credit file, at no charge. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the consumer reporting agencies from releasing your credit report or any information from it without your express authorization. You may place a security freeze on your credit report by sending a request in writing or by mail, to all three nationwide credit reporting companies. To find out more about how to place a security freeze, you can use the following contact information:

Equifax Security Freeze

P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348

https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze

Experian Security Freeze

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

http://experian.com/freeze

TransUnion Security Freeze

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze

 (888) 909-8872

In order to place the security freeze, you’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information.  After receiving your freeze request, each credit monitoring company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password.  Keep the PIN or password in a safe place.  You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.

If your personal information has been used to file a false tax return, to open an account or to attempt to open an account in your name or to commit fraud or other crimes against you, you may file a police report in the City in which you currently reside.

Obtaining a Free Credit Report.

Under federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the above three major nationwide credit reporting companies. Call 1-877-322-8228 or request your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize.  Verify all information is correct.  If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.

Additional Helpful Resources.

Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you check your credit reports periodically.  Checking your credit report periodically can help you spot problems and address them quickly.

If you find suspicious activity on your credit reports or have reason to believe your information is being misused, call your local law enforcement agency and file a police report. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, as many creditors will want the information it contains to absolve you of the fraudulent debts. You may also file a complaint with the FTC by contacting them on the web at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338), or by mail at Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Your complaint will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, where it will be accessible to law enforcement for their investigations. In addition, you may obtain information from the FTC about fraud alerts and security freezes.

Protecting Your Medical Information.

The following practices can help to protect you from medical identity theft.

  • Only share your health insurance cards with your health care providers and other family members who are covered under your insurance plan or who help you with your medical care. 
  • Review your “explanation of benefits statement” which you receive from your health insurance company. Follow up with your insurance company or care provider for any items you do not recognize. If necessary, contact the care provider on the explanation of benefits statement and ask for copies of medical records from the date of the potential access (noted above) to current date.
  • Ask your insurance company for a current year-to-date report of all services paid for you as a beneficiary. Follow up with your insurance company or the care provider for any items you do not recognize.

Iowa Residents: You may contact law enforcement or the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to report suspected incidents of identity Theft:  Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, Consumer Protection Division, Hoover State Office Building, 1305 East Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50319, www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov, Telephone: 515-281-5164.

Maryland Residents: You may obtain information about avoiding identity theft from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer, Telephone: 888-743-0023.

Massachusetts Residents: Under Massachusetts law, you have the right to obtain a police report in regard to this incident. If you are the victim of identity theft, you also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it.

New Mexico Residents: You have rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These include, among others, the right to know what is in your file; to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information; and to have consumer reporting agencies correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information. For more information about the FCRA, please visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0096-fair-credit-reporting-act.pdf or www.ftc.gov.

In Addition, New Mexico Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze or Submit a Declaration of Removal

As noted above, you may obtain a security freeze on your credit report to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You may submit a declaration of removal to remove information placed in your credit report as a result of being a victim of identity theft. You have a right to place a security freeze on your credit report or submit a declaration of removal pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting and Identity Security Act.

The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided with a personal identification number, password, or similar device to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit report or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report to a specific party or parties or for a specific period of time after the freeze is in place. To remove the freeze or to provide authorization for the temporary release of your credit report, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

  1. The unique personal identification number, password, or similar device provided by the consumer reporting agency;
  2. Proper identification to verify your identity; and
  3. Information regarding the third party or parties who are to receive the credit report or the period of time for which the credit report may be released to users of the credit report.

A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to lift temporarily a freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the request. As of September 1, 2008, a consumer reporting agency shall comply with the request within fifteen minutes of receiving the request by a secure electronic method or by telephone.

A security freeze does not apply in all circumstances, such as where you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your credit report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities; for use in setting or adjusting an insurance rate or claim or insurance underwriting; for certain governmental purposes; and for purposes of prescreening as defined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If you are actively seeking a new credit, loan, utility, telephone, or insurance account, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around or specifically for a certain creditor, with enough advance notice before you apply for new credit for the lifting to take effect. You should contact a consumer reporting agency and request it to lift the freeze at least three business days before applying. As of September 1, 2008, if you contact a consumer reporting agency by a secure electronic method or by telephone, the consumer reporting agency should lift the freeze within fifteen minutes. You have a right to bring a civil action against a consumer reporting agency that violates your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting and Identity Security Act.

To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may contact these agencies using the contact information provided above.

New York Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the New York Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds-bureau/identity-theft; Telephone: 800-771-7755.

North Carolina Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General of North Carolina, Consumer Protection Division, 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, www.ncdoj.gov/, Telephone: 877-566-7226.

Oregon Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office: Oregon Department of Justice, 1162 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301-4096, www.doj.state.or.us/, Telephone: 877-877-9392

Washington D.C. Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, 400 6th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001, https://oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection, Telephone: 202-442-9828.