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A Notice to Our Patients Regarding a Cyber Incident

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC (“PPMW”) takes the confidentiality of our patients’ information extremely seriously. Unfortunately, this notice regards a cyber incident that may have involved some of that information. 

The incident did not impact PPMW health center operations or patient care, nor did it affect any other Planned Parenthood location or the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPMW has conducted an extensive investigation, which indicates no reason to suspect that there has been any fraudulent use or public release of patient information associated with this incident.

What Happened

  • PPMW detected unusual network activity on September 3, 2020. We immediately took steps to secure our systems, began an investigation with the assistance of cybersecurity firms, and notified law enforcement. After an extensive forensic investigation, on October 21, 2020 we determined that unauthorized actors gained access to our network and between August 27, 2020 and October 8, 2020 acquired copies of documents that contained some patient information. 

  • We conducted a review of the documents involved and determined that this information may have included names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and/or clinical information, such as provider name(s), date(s) of service, diagnosis information, treatment information, and/or prescription information. In some instances, patients’ health insurance information, financial account information, and/or Social Security numbers were also included.

  • Nothing is more important to us than our patients’ privacy. We have extensive security measures in place, and we continuously take steps to enhance the security of our systems and the data entrusted to us. We will also continue to assist law enforcement’s efforts to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of this incident.

What We’re Doing 

  • Beginning April 9, 2021, we are mailing letters to impacted PPMW patients for whom we have a valid address and providing them with guidance on steps they can take to help protect their information. We have set up a dedicated call center for individuals to ask questions at (833) 444-4457, available Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 

  • PPMW has no reason to suspect that there has been any fraudulent use of patient information associated with this incident. In an abundance of caution, we are providing complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to patients whose Social Security number or driver’s license number was involved. 

  • We also recommend that affected patients review statements they receive from their health insurers or healthcare providers for any irregularities. If they see charges for services not received, they should contact the insurer or provider immediately.

The health and safety of our patients are essential to who we are, and that includes protecting patients’ confidentiality and security.