Mercer Loses Personal Information on 6,000 DCH Health System Employees

April 6, 2007 ( - Raising concerns about identity theft, the personal information of more than 6,000 employees at DCH Health System were lost in March by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which reviews the company's pension plan to determine annual employer contribution requirements, the Tuscaloosa News reported.

The confidential information included an encrypted disk and hard-copy documents containing Social Security numbers and personal information.

The pension documents had been mailed to a Mercer employee from Mercer’s Birmingham, Alabama offices on March 2, but disappeared after they reached their destination in Louisiana. Mercer did not notify DCH until March 22 that a package of documents containing retirement benefit information had disappeared.

The package’s tracking data indicated that it had been delivered to the addressee’s building, but the intended recipient never received it.

The potential security breach could affect anyone on the payroll in 2006 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center or Fayette Medical Center. DCH employees were notified of the security breach Thursday, and all other parties who could be at risk of identity theft – retirees, former vested participants in the pension plan and surviving spouses of those participants – have been mailed a letter.

According to the news report, neither Mercer nor DCH knew of any personal information that had been accessed or illegally misused; however, Mercer said it is covering the cost of monitoring the affected parties for possible identity theft for a year.

Additionally all affected parties have been told how to request a free copy of their credit reports.