BLUE ASH, OHIO, September 24, 2021 – On July 27, 2021, Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) experienced a security issue in which an employee’s e-mail account was targeted and accessed by an unknown outside entity. The intrusion was caught and stopped, and the account fully secured, within minutes.
COA immediately launched a thorough investigation and discovered that one file containing protected health information (PHI) was accessed. The accessed file contained data which may have included clients’ names, birth dates, addresses, Medicaid numbers, diagnoses information, treatment notes, and related referral or intake forms. Social security numbers were not involved. COA’s investigation found no indication or evidence that any personal information or PHI had actually been accessed, obtained, misused or otherwise compromised.
However, COA takes the privacy of its clients very seriously and is making sure impacted individuals are informed and prepared to take action to protect their protected health information.
To that end, COA has been working within required deadlines to notify, educate and help protect all impacted clients. This includes:
- letters sent to impacted clients today (9/24/21)
- provision of one-year memberships for identity theft monitoring and resolution services
- detailed educational information on how to prevent identity theft (Click here for more information on how to protect yourself)
COA is always looking for ways to improve and enhance its services, including the protection of its clients. As part of that process, COA is reviewing its HIPAA policies, procedures and security protocols to determine whether any changes should be made as a result of this incident.
As required by law, this matter is also being reported to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Individuals who would like further information about this matter should contact Council on Aging at (800) 252-0155 and ask to speak to the Privacy Officer.
About Council on Aging
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. COA promotes choice, independence, dignity and well-being through a range of services that help people remain independent for as long as possible.
COA is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties. One call to COA links people to the wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.
4601 Malsbary Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242 | 513-721-1025 | 800-252-0155 | www.help4seniors.org