The personal information of tens of millions of HCA healthcare patients has been stolen and is now available for sale on a data breach forum from earlier this week.
HCA, one of the largest corporations in the United States, is the parent company of HCA Florida, and more than a hundred hospitals and clinics in Florida are affected by this breach.
Here’s what you need to know about a data breach:
What happened to HCA Healthcare’s patient data?
HCA Healthcare released a statement Monday that an unknown, unauthorized party gained access to patients’ names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and dates of birth, as well as the dates and locations of patients’ appointments.
HCA said they, however, did not have access to credit cards, account numbers, or Social Security numbers.
But DataBreaches.net mentioned On Monday, the unnamed hacking group provided them with a sample set of data on a patient’s assessment of “low-risk” lung cancer, which would apparently undermine HCA’s assessment that no protected health material or information had been breached.
Who is affected by this data breach?
The breakthrough affects patients in nearly two dozen states, including patients at dozens of facilities in Florida and Texas.
The data sale was reported on Twitter by Brett Callow, an analyst with New Zealand-based Emsisoft.
“This may be one of the largest health care-related abuses of the year and one of the largest ever. However, despite affecting millions of people, it may not be as harmful as other abuses, based on HCA’s statement,” Kalow told CNBC. It appears to have affected diagnoses or other medical information.”
Patient data breaches are not uncommon, but they can vary in scope and impact.
The HCA breach did not appear to include critical medical records, and the company said the breached data originated in an “external storage location used exclusively to automate the formatting of emails.”
What does HCA Healthcare do about it?
HCA Healthcare will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services to affected patients.
But in the meantime, they encourage everyone to look out for spam calls, texts, or emails.
What South Florida HCA health care locations have been affected?
HCA Florida Aventura Hospital, HCA Florida Kendall Hospital, HCA Florida Mercy Hospital, and HCA Florida Miami International Cardiology among many other patients were affected.
For a complete list of affected facilities in Florida, click here here.
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