October 9, 2023 – On August 11, 2023, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. (“Meridian”) discovered certain unauthorized activity within its computer systems. Upon discovery, Meridian immediately secured its network, reset passwords, and engaged a third-party forensic firm to investigate the full nature and scope of the incident. The investigation into this incident is ongoing. However, at this time, there is no indication whatsoever that any information has been misused or will be in the future.
The type of information contained within the affected data included patient names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, medical diagnosis and treatment information, health insurance information, and prescription information. Importantly, the information potentially impacted may vary for each individual and may include all, or just one of the above-listed types of information.
At this time, Meridian is not aware of any evidence to suggest that any information has been misused. However, Meridian was unable to rule out the possibility that the information could have been accessed. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, Meridian has partnered with a third-party computer forensic company to perform a thorough review of the potentially impacted information to identify and subsequently notify all potentially affected individuals.
In response to this incident, Meridian has implemented additional security measures within its network and facilities and is reviewing its current policies and procedures related to data security. Although Meridian has no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of information as a result of this incident, patients are nonetheless encouraged to monitor their account statements and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Patients may also wish to contact the three major credit agencies to place a fraud alert on their credit report – the credit agencies’ contact information is: Equifax (888-378-4329); TransUnion (833-395-6938); and Experian (888-397-3472).
Meridian has established a hotline to answer questions about the incident and to address related concerns. The number for the hotline is 855-457-7131. You may also contact us by writing to 1565 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32608.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION
Monitor Your Accounts
We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your credit reports/account statements and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity and to detect errors. Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Once you receive your credit report, review it for discrepancies and identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize. If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting bureau.
You have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a one-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any of the three credit reporting bureaus listed below.
As an alternative to a fraud alert, you have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without your express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report. To request a credit freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- Address for the prior two to five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (e.g., state driver’s license or identification card); and
- A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft, if you are a victim of identity theft.
Should you wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
|TransUnion 1-800-680-7289 www.transunion.com TransUnion Fraud Alert P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016-2000 TransUnion Credit Freeze P.O. Box 160 Woodlyn, PA 19094||Experian 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com Experian Fraud Alert P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013 Experian Credit Freeze P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013||Equifax 1-888-298-0045 www.equifax.com Equifax Fraud Alert P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 Equifax Credit Freeze P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788|
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the credit reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or your state Attorney General. The FTC also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. The FTC may be reached at 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement, your state Attorney General, and the FTC. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General may be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-410-528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023; and https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act: (i) the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; (ii) the consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; (iii) access to your file is limited; (iv) you must give consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; (v) you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; (vi) and you may seek damages from violators. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For New York residents, the New York Attorney General may be contacted at Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; or https://ag.ny.gov.
For North Carolina residents, the North Carolina Attorney General may be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6000; and www.ncdoj.gov.
For Rhode Island residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General may be contacted at 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903; 1-401-274-4400; and www.riag.ri.gov. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident.
For Washington, D.C. residents, the District of Columbia Attorney General may be contacted at 400 6th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-442-9828, and https://oag.dc.gov/https://oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection.