The Valley Hospital, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, and Holy Name Medical Center all use Medical Management LLC of North Carolina for emergency department physician billing. An employee who worked at this company from February 2013 through March 2015 was passing on the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of patients at these three facilities. While the scope of the breach is yet unclear, thousands of patients at White Plains Hospital in New York and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center also have been alerted that their personal information had been compromised.
“We regret the inconvenience to the patients and urge patients who received the letter to take advantage of this free identity theft protection service,” said Alicia Park, a spokeswoman for Englewood while MML said in a statement, “MML takes this matter very seriously and terminated this employee after being informed.”
In April there was a breach surrounding three providers CHS, Anthem, and Premera. It seemed that a China-based cyberespionage group may have been the culprit of those attacks which came on the heels of the Anthem breach that exposed the records of some 80 million people. And prior to this incident there were recently others involving AHMC Healthcare, Oregon Health and Science University, and even the IRS.
Weaknesses in cyber security surely exist and the recent breaches prove many right who have felt that we are just at the start of an awful trend. As well as the actual medical and miscellaneous personal information, social security numbers and financial information (for payment to providers) being all in one place (and providing the winning trifecta for hackers), Electronic medical records are part of a very interconnected web of information that flows from doctors to hospitals to insurance companies to government agencies and each such “open” connection is just another opportunity for would be hackers to gain an entrance to the information.
Even at the provider level, security must be taken seriously and the first step is making sure your systems are set up securely. Microwize Technology’s Managed IT Services assess your systems and offer security solutions as well as ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Call today to learn more about what you can be doing to keep you data safe.