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Notice of Data Privacy Event at South Fulton Center | Print |
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PLEASE READ:Notice of Data Privacy Event at the South Fulton Mental Health Center.

 

 

NOTICE OF DATA PRIVACY INCIDENT AFFECTING SOUTH FULTON MENTAL HEALTH CENTER PATIENT INFORMATION

The Fulton County Behavioral Health Department ("the County") recently discovered an event that may affect the security of your protected health information.  While we are unaware of any actual or attempted fraudulent misuse of your protected health information, we are providing notice of this incident to all potentially impacted current and former patients whop have received services from the South Fulton Mental health Center located at 1636 Connally Drive in Atlanta, Georgia.  The notice below provides information about the event, steps we have taken since discovering the incident, and what impacted individuals can do to better protect against identity theft and fraud, should they feel it is appropriate to do so.  

What Happened?  Recently, the County has been taking steps to relocate the physical operations of the South Fulton Mental Health Center ("the Center") from 1636 Connally Drive in Atlanta to a new location at The Center for Health & Rehabilitation, 265 Boulevard, NE, Atlanta, GA 30312.  During this relocation, on February 9, 2017, the County became aware that paper records relating to certain current and former patients of the Center were sitting inside two dumpsters located outside of the Center on its property.  Upon discovery of this issue, the County took immediate steps to secure all paper patient records affected as a result of this incident.  The County takes the security of protected health information very seriously and is investigating to confirm how this oversight occurred and protect against similar incidents in the future.

What Information Was Involved?  Based upon our investigation, it was determined that the following types of patient information relating to current and former patients of the center were contained in one or more paper documents impacted as a result of this incident: name, contact information, patient medical record number, diagnosis and treatment information, and potentially Social Security number and date of birth for a limited number of individuals.  The County is unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of patient information as a result of this incident.

What Are We Doing?  The County takes the security of protected health information very seriously. We acted immediately to physically secure all patient records found in the two dumpsters and we continue to take steps to confirm the security of all patient records impacted as a result of this incident.  We are investigating to confirm how this happened and to better protect against similar incidents in the future.  We are providing you with notice of this incident and the enclosed Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud.  We will be reporting this incident to the US Department of Health & Human Services.

As an added precaution, we have offered impacted individuals access to 12 months of free credit monitoring and identity restoration services through Experian.

What You Can Do.  We encourage impacted individuals to review the below Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud and to contact the County at (404) 613-3746 if they believe they may be impacted and did not receive a notification letter from the County regarding this incident.  

For More Information.  Any individual who has received services from the South Fulton Mental Health Center and believes they may be impacted or has other questions or concerns regarding this incident can call the County at (404) 613-3746, Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  

We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident has caused.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud

We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity.  This also includes reviewing account statements, medical bills, and health insurance statements regularly to ensure that no one has submitted fraudulent medical claims using your name and address.  Report all suspicious or fraudulent charges to your account and insurance providers.  Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com  or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.  You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.

At no charge, you can also have these credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name.  Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it may also delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity.  As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file.  Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.    

You may also place a security freeze on your credit reports.  A security freeze prohibits a credit bureau from releasing any information from a consumer's credit report without the consumer's written authorization.  However, please be advised that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing, or other services.  If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you provide the credit bureau with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze.  In all other cases, a credit bureau may charge you a fee to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.  You will need to place a security freeze separately with each of the three major credit bureaus listed above if you wish to place a freeze on all of your credit files.  To find out more on how to place a security freeze, you can use the following contact information.

You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov  1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them.  Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement.  

 
 

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Message from the Director

LaTrina R. Foster                  
Thank you for visiting the website for the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities.

Starting January 1, 2018, our Department will implement exciting new changes that will enable us to expand the number of Fulton County residents that we currently serve, open new facilities at more convenient locations, and enable residents to have easier access to behavioral health care.  

Therefore,  More Locations + Reduced Wait Times + Easier Access = Better Health!   Read about these new changes here.                                  

 


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