Bellin recovers from 'cybersecurity event' in October: Here's what you need to know

GREEN BAY - If you're a patient at Bellin Health, you should keep an eye on the your mailbox this week. The health system is sending out letters to patients whose information was part of a "cybersecurity event" in October, the health system announced Monday.

The incident did not impact Bellin's whole computer network, though.

Here's what you need to know.

Bellin had a cybersecurity event in October into home care equipment data

On Oct. 27, Bellin noticed a third party accessed an electronic folder that had archived copies of scanned documents about home care equipment purchases between 2006 and 2013, the health system announced in a press release sent Monday.

The unauthorized third party got some of the files from the folder that included patients' names, addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, or health information related to the home care equipment. Some of the documents had patients' Social Security numbers, which used to be used as Medicare ID numbers.

Bellin's electronic medical records were not involved in the incident, according to the press release.

Investigation completed into the event

The incident did not impact Bellin's daily operations at hospitals or clinics, Bellin said.

The health system said it responded immediately, and the information security team contained the "activity" and completed an investigation. The event was reported to the FBI.

"The health system is continuously updating and strengthening its systems to help prevent events such as this from occurring and will continue to make additional investments in this area," Bellin said in the news release.

Patients involved will get a letter on next steps

Patients whose information was involved in the event should get a letter in the mail starting this week. The letters will include information about the attack. Anyone whose Social Security numbers were shared in the event will also have complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

All patients at Bellin should review their hospital and insurance statements to see if there are any services listed that they did not actually have. If there are any suspicious services, you should contact the health care provider or insurance company immediately.

Hospitals are required to let patients know their information may have been involved in a breach or cyberattack no later than 60 days after the event was detected.

Contact Bellin's call center with any questions at 1-888-988-0385 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. More information about the incident is at

Second cybersecurity attack reported by Green Bay-area health system this year

Two months before the event at Bellin, Prevea Health announced there was a cyber attack that caused its phone, websites, and internet to go down for over two weeks. Surgeries and appointments were backed up and patients struggled to get through phone lines to reschedule for several days.

On Oct. 19, Prevea announced that everything was back up and running as normal.

A day before the Bellin cybersecurity event, Prevea began sending out letters to its own patients on a rolling basis letting them know their information was involved in the attack.

More: HSHS, Prevea elective and non-elective procedures can be scheduled as health system recovers from cyberattack

More: Over two weeks after Prevea and HSHS outage, patients can use MyPrevea, MyChart for first time

Benita Mathew is a health and science reporter for the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter @benita_mathew.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: What to know about Bellin 'cybersecurity event' in October