A data breach at a medical transcription business may have exposed the personal information of at least 4 million New Yorkers to identity theft, State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday.
James’s office estimates that the hack had an impact on almost 9 million patients countrywide, given that the company – Nevada-based Perry Johnson & Associates – collaborates with Crouse Health in Syracuse and Northwell Health, which has hospitals and clinics throughout the five boroughs and Long Island.
Most impacted individuals have received notification of the incident, according to James. The exposed data reportedly comprised the dates of service, diagnoses, medical record numbers, hospital account numbers, and birthdates of the patients. In many instances, the information also contained Social Security numbers, insurance details, and data from medical transcription files, including prescription drugs, names of healthcare providers, and the outcomes of laboratory and diagnostic tests.
Between March 27 and May 2, according to the company, an “unauthorized party” gained access to its network and copied files from the system. According to James’ office, Perry Johnson & Associates was made aware of the incident in May. However, the business stated in its own incident statement that it didn’t start notifying patients whose information could have been exposed until October 31.
“We value individuals’ privacy and deeply regret any concern that this incident might cause,” the company stated. “To help prevent something like this from happening again, PJ&A continues to review its safeguards and has implemented additional technical security measures to further protect and monitor its systems.”
Attorney General James recommends anybody who feels they have been affected by this to take the following precautions:
Monitor your credit
Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report
Place a fraud alert on your credit report
Obtain copies of your medical records
Contest unrecognized medical billing
Inform your insurance company