Cottage Patient Worries About Security Incident

Longtime patient wants more information

GOLETA, Calif. - A longtime patient being treated for Crohn's disease at Cottage Hospital in Goleta is one of the 32,500 notified about a "security incident."

In a statement released to the media, Cottage revealed that on December 2, a third- party vendor appeared to have removed electronic security protections from one of its servers without informing Cottage officials. Information stored on the server may have been exposed as a result. However, Cottage is telling its patients that there is no evidence to suggest that anyone has used the information in any way.

The female patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she got a letter but would like the hospital to give her a call, too.  She is worried that years of information she shared with doctors and nurses she trusts will end up in the wrong hands. She doesn't want the information to hurt her professional career.

Cottage Health System said the incident involves 32,500 patients treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital between September 29, 2009 and December 2, 2013.

The information possibly put at risk for each patient includes their name, address, date of birth, and some protected health information such as diagnosis, lab results and procedures performed.  It did not include social security numbers, driver's license numbers, health insurance numbers, bank account numbers or any other financial information.

The server was removed from service once Cottage officials were notified of the problem and a review of all servers was completed.

Patients who have questions can call ID Experts at 1-877-264-9632.

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