Winter Haven Hospital Notice of Privacy Incident

Notice of Privacy Incident

Winter Haven Hospital takes the confidentiality and security of the patient information we maintain seriously. We experienced a privacy incident that involved information regarding certain patients. This notice explains the incident, measures that have been taken, and some steps patients can take in response.

On March 15, 2024, one of our employees, while emailing forms to a patient, accidentally attached a cardiac rehabilitation department file containing information about other patients. The employee identified the error and contacted the recipient. The recipient stated the file would be deleted. 

The protected health information that was disclosed included cardiac rehabilitation patient names, dates of birth, the procedure requiring cardiac rehab, date of service, and, in some cases, email addresses, and/or phone numbers. 

We have taken corrective actions to help prevent a re-occurrence of this type of incident, which included adding additional access security to the file.

Although we have no reason to believe that any of the information will be used in an inappropriate manner, for patients whose information was involved in the incident we want to make them aware of steps they may take to guard against identity theft or fraud. Please review the information below about Identity Theft Protection.

On May 8, 2024, Winter Haven Hospital began mailing letters to individuals whose information was involved in the incident and for whom we were able to identify an address. If you believe your information was involved and have any questions about this incident, please contact us at 1-855-466-6677, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. 

Winter Haven Hospital is committed to protecting each patient’s privacy and sincerely regrets that this incident has occurred.

Identity Theft Protection Steps You Can Take
We recommend that you regularly review statements from your accounts and periodically obtain your credit report from one or more of the national credit reporting companies. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report online at, by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, or by mailing an Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281. You may also purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one or more of the three national credit reporting agencies listed below.

Equifax: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241, 1-800-685-1111,
Experian: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013, 1-888-397-3742,
TransUnion: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022, 1-800-888-4213,

When you receive your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for accounts or creditor inquiries that you did not initiate or do not recognize. Look for information, such as home address and Social Security number, that is not accurate. If you see anything you do not understand, call the credit reporting agency at the telephone number on the report.

We recommend you remain vigilant with respect to reviewing your account statements and credit reports, and promptly report any suspicious activity or suspected identity theft to us and to the proper law enforcement authorities, including local law enforcement, your state’s attorney general and/or the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). You may contact the FTC or your state’s regulatory authority to obtain additional information about avoiding identity theft.

Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338),

We recommend that you regularly review the explanation of benefits statement that you receive from your insurer. If you see any service that you believe you did not receive, please contact your insurer at the number on the statement. If you do not receive regular explanation of benefits statements, contact your provider and request them to send such statements following the provision of services in your name or number.

You may want to order copies of your credit reports and check for any medical bills that you do not recognize. If you find anything suspicious, call the credit reporting agency at the phone number on the report. Keep a copy of this notice for your records in case of future problems with your medical records. You may also want to request a copy of your medical records from your provider, to serve as a baseline. 

Fraud Alerts: There are also two types of fraud alerts that you can place on your credit report to put your creditors on notice that you may be a victim of fraud: an initial alert and an extended alert. You may ask that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you suspect you have been, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft. An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days. You may have an extended alert placed on your credit report if you have already been a victim of identity theft with the appropriate documentary proof. An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years. You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling the toll-free fraud number of any of the three national credit reporting agencies listed below.

Equifax: 1-888-766-0008,
Experian: 1-888-397-3742,
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289,

Credit Freezes: You have the right to put a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, on your credit file, so that no new credit can be opened in your name without the use of a PIN number that is issued to you when you initiate a freeze. A credit freeze is designed to prevent potential credit grantors from accessing your credit report without your consent. If you place a credit freeze, potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get access to your credit report unless you temporarily lift the freeze. Therefore, using a credit freeze may delay your ability to obtain credit. Unlike a fraud alert, you must separately place a credit freeze on your credit file at each credit reporting company. Since the instructions for how to establish a credit freeze differ from state to state, please contact the three major credit reporting companies as specified below to find out more information:

Equifax: P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348,
Experian: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013,
TransUnion: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA, 19022-2000,

You can obtain more information about fraud alerts and credit freezes by contacting the FTC or one of the national credit reporting agencies listed above.