Atrium Health says data of about 2.65 mln patients involved in breach

Desiree Burns
December 1, 2018

The North Carolina billing vendor prepares patient bills and operates the online billing system for Atrium Health, which consists of 44 hospitals throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. That database included names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance policy information, medical record numbers, invoice numbers, account balances, dates of service and, in some instances, Social Security numbers.

Personal clinical and medical records were not involved, nor was financial account information, such as bank account numbers or credit card or debit card information. The records were retained by AccuDoc from payments made at several Atrium Health locations. AccuDoc and Atrium Health are also working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Our patients expect us to keep all of their information private, which is why we took action so quickly", said Chris Berger, a health system spokesman in an emailed statement. "That's been proven by the forensic experts".

A joint news release said AccuDoc, a Raleigh-area company that prepares bills and operates the website where patients can pay online, became aware on October 1 that an "unauthorized third party" accessed patient information between September 22 and 29. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a private forensic firm investigated, and Perkins said it doesn't appear any information was stolen. They began notifying patients on Tuesday.

"The fact that the system was entered we believe obligates us to go ahead and - out of an abundance of caution - notify any patient or guarantor who could have been in that database", Perkins said.

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"It is very important to understand that the data was accessed but not downloaded in this incident", Berger said.

Those patients whose Social Security numbers were breached are being offered one year of free credit monitoring.

People can reach the call center at 1-833-228-5726 or go to krollfraudsolutions.com/accudocincident for a list of frequently asked questions.

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