Hospital Data Breach Violates Patient Privacy and Consumer Rights

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Data BreachChinese hackers stole personal information of 4.5 million patients from a large network of hospitals, including patients and consumers in Florida.  The malware cyber-attack took place in April and June of this year, and hospitals within the Community Health Systems (CHS) network were primarily targeted.  CHS operates 26 hospitals throughout Florida, including:

  • St. Petersburg – Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
  • Spring Hill – Bayfront Health Spring hill
  • Bartow – Bartow Regional Medical Center
  • Ocala – Munroe Regional Medical Center
  • Dade City – Bayfront Health Dade City

Targeted Data

The attack targeted private data and information including names, Social Security Numbers, birthdates, and telephone numbers.  One local regional medical center issued the following statement: “We take very seriously the security and confidentiality of private patient information and sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience to patients.”  CHS says they have removed all of the malware from its network and added additional cyber security to protect against future attacks.  The company plans to notify the affected patients and offer identity theft protection.  

As of now, CHS asserts that none of the stolen data included credit card or sensitive medical information; however, the full extent of the attack is not yet known.  Unfortunately, data breaches such as the CHS attack are becoming more common.  For example, within the last year, Nieman Marcus, PF Chang’s, Home Depot, and Target have all reported similar data breaches, and several have included stolen credit card numbers and security pins. 

According to the National Consumers League and Javelin Strategy & Research, you have a one in three chance of falling victim to identity theft after your personal or financial information is stolen.  Identity theft leads to destroyed credit, soaring interest rates, and even bankruptcy.  From 2012 to 2013 alone, credit and debit card fraud jumped from $8 billion to $11 billion. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act Defense

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a data breach or identity theft, please contact the experienced Consumer Law attorneys at LeavenLaw today.  LeavenLaw attorneys can help dispute and repair credit reporting errors, and we also sue creditors, debt collectors, and credit reporting agencies for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  For more information, visit www.LeavenLaw.com, or call (727) 327-3328 to set up your free consultation.