Fort Worth

Texas Health Resources reveals possible data breach, offers to help affected patients

This undated file photo shows Texas Health Resources rebranding the First Choice Emergency Rooms as part of a joint venture.
This undated file photo shows Texas Health Resources rebranding the First Choice Emergency Rooms as part of a joint venture.

Texas Health Resources says emails containing private patient information may have gotten into the hands of an unauthorized third party.

Officials with the Arlington-based healthcare corporation have mailed letters to the patients — fewer than 4,000 — who may have been affected and have established a call center to answer any questions patients might have, a spokesperson said.

Law enforcement personnel told Texas Health about the possible data breach in January but asked the company to not notify their patients or the public while they pursued their investigation, company officials said.

Texas Health was recently given the OK to speak openly about the investigation, which they said is part of a much larger investigation that's nationwide in scope. The Texas Health breach affected patients who received care primarily in October.

Texas Health's own investigation concluded that the email accounts at risk contained patients’ names, addresses, medical record numbers, dates of birth, insurance information, clinical information and, in some instances, Social Security numbers, driver’s license and state identification numbers.

Texas Health says there is no evidence that any patient information has been misused.

But patients are being cautioned to carefully review any insurance statements they get and to alert their insurers if they see charges for services not rendered.

For patients whose Social Security numbers are at risk, Texas Health said it is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity protection services.

Patients worried that they may be affected can call a special Texas Health hotline at 855-331-3705, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time.

Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the nation. Its hospitals include Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist in Fort Worth and Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas.

This story contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3
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