Attorney Robert Teel filed the class action suit on behalf of Yvonne Mart Fox of Middleton. It claims the hospital delayed reporting a data breach in mid-April. It also alleges UnityPoint Health misled patients in believing their social security numbers were not compromised.
Teel said 16,429 patient records were affected by the breach, going back as far as November 2017. Records show the breach happened through a “phishing” attack of employee email accounts. Data compromised is reported to include social security numbers, insurance and financial information, diagnosis, and treatment.
In a letter sent to patients, UnityPoint Health said it is not aware of any reports of improper use of the information as a direct result of the breach, but Teel said it’s disingenuous to think the data will not be used in an unauthorized manner.
“Why do you think criminals acquire these records? They don’t do it for fun. It’s well known in the industry that medical records are used for criminal activity,” he said.
Teel said the hospital could have done more to secure patient information.