Recently, Val Verde Regional Medical Center reported a data breach after an unauthorized party following an incident in which an unauthorized party gained access to the company’s computer network and may have downloaded files containing sensitive patient data. According to the VVRMC, the breach resulted in the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, patient account numbers, and medical records being compromised. On May 24, VVRMC posted notice of the breach on its website, and on May 25, 2022, the Center filed official notice of the breach and sent out data breach letters to all affected parties.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the Val Verde Regional Medical Center data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.
The Details of the Val Verde Regional Medical Center Data Breach
Based on what we know so far from the Center’s official filing and other sources, it was on March 10, 2022, that VVRMC first detected a network disruption. In response, the Center secured its network and investigated the incident to determine its nature and scope. This investigation confirmed that an unauthorized party was able to gain access to—and potentially download—files containing sensitive patient data.
After learning that sensitive patient information was compromised, Val Verde Regional Medical Center then reviewed the affected files to determine exactly what information was involved and which patients were impacted by the breach. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name, address, Social Security number, patient account number, and medical record number.
On May 24, 2022, VVRMC posted a “Data Security Incident” page on its website. The following day, on May 25, 2022, Val Verde Regional Medical Center sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
More Information About Val Verde Regional Medical Center
Val Verde Regional Medical Center is a health system based in Val Verde County, Texas. Originally named Val Verde Memorial Hospital when it first opened in 1959, the Center provides a wide range of services to the surrounding community, including cancer treatment, cardiology, diabetes care, emergency care, mental health services, podiatry, rehabilitation, and surgical services. Val Verde Regional Medical Center has approximately 700 employees.
Can Healthcare Providers Be Held Liable Following a Data Breach?
Patients who sought treatment at Val Verde Regional Medical Center probably never thought about the security of their personal information. Indeed, most patients inherently trust the healthcare providers with their information without a second thought. However, in recent years, hackers have shifted their focus to obtaining protected health information. In turn, smaller healthcare providers are increasingly becoming the target of cyberattacks that put patient data at risk.
When you give your information to a healthcare provider or any other organization, it creates a duty on the provider’s part. Among other things, this duty requires the provider to take the necessary steps to protect your information from malicious actors such as hackers and cybercriminals.
Most healthcare providers take this responsibility seriously and do a good job protecting the patient data in their possession. However, as technology advances and hackers develop new strategies, organizations must update their data security systems to ensure they continue to provide the same level of protection.
If a healthcare provider mishandles patient data or elects not to implement an adequate data security system, and hackers are able to capitalize on the provider’s oversight, those affected by the breach may pursue a legal claim against the company through a data breach class action lawsuit. Those interested in learning more about bringing a data breach class action lawsuit or the steps they should take to reduce the likelihood of fraud in the wake of a data breach should reach out to a data breach attorney for assistance.