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Community Health Systems Being Sued over Data Breach

August 28, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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The hack of Community Health Systems (CHS) that affected 4.5 million patients has led to the large health system and its affiliated hospitals getting hit with a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit is being filed in Alabama, where lawyers representing patients at Riverview Regional Medical Center, Gadsden Regional Medical Center, among other Alabama-based CHS hospitals, are claiming the hack has compromised their protected health information (PHI) and are claiming emotional and economic distress. The affiliated hospitals were also named in the suit.

The hack has become national news because of the sheer size of Community Health Systems, with 206 affiliated hospitals in 29 states. It happened when the attackers, an "Advanced Persistent Threat" group originating from China, used highly sophisticated malware and technology to attack the company's systems. They were able to access patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers.

According to The Gadsen Times, Community Health Systems did not comment on the pending litigation. The lawsuit was filed through the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Alabama on Aug. 20.

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) sent a warning to healthcare organizations over the threat of increased data breach attacks, a direct response to the hack.

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