Community Health Systems Reports Data Breach Affecting 4.5M Patients | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Community Health Systems Reports Data Breach Affecting 4.5M Patients

August 18, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, Inc. has said that the personal data of approximately 4.5 million patients was stolen by hackers from its computer network in April and June.

According to a story in Reuters, the company said the data, considered protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), included patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. It did not include patient credit card or medical information, however. The breach was reported by the organization in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

It further said the security breach had affected about 4.5 million people who were referred for or received services from doctors affiliated with the hospital group in the last five years. The company said it is notifying affected patients and regulatory agencies as required by law.

The rural hospital operator and cybersecurity firm Mandiant believe the attacker was an "Advanced Persistent Threat" group originating from China, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The attacker, who used highly sophisticated malware and technology to attack the company's systems, was able to bypass Community Health Systems' security measures and to successfully copy and transfer certain data outside the company, it said.

Community Health Systems is one of the nation’s largest operators of general acute care hospitals. It includes 206 affiliated hospitals in 29 states.

Topics

News

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.