Accountable Care Organization

Hacked server of St. Joseph leads to data breach affecting 405,000

February 26th, 2014

St. Joseph Health System (SJHS) in Texas reported a data breach due to hacking of server. It has affected more than 405,000 patients, employees, and employee beneficiaries. Hackers from china and other locations accessed information through single server. The server has employee and patient data from St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, Burleson St. Joseph Center, Madison St. Joseph Health Center, Grimes St. Joseph Health Center and St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center as per the health system. The server was taken offline as soon as breach was discovered.
Information about patient names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, possibly addresses, Medical information as well as bank information for current and former employees were present on the server. Investigators failed to determine if any information had been extracted.
“SJHS is working with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is also looking into this incident. SJHS is providing written notice of this incident to affected individuals, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as to certain state and international regulators.”SHJS mentioned in a release on its website.
St. Joseph stated that there has been no report about misuse of information. It has setup a confidential call center for affected people. Statement on their website further added, ‘To further protect individuals from identity theft or financial loss, we encourage patients, employees, and their families to remain vigilant, to review their account statements, and to monitor their credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity.

Individuals can also check their credit by obtaining a free credit report.  Under U.S. law, individuals are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
SJHS have five hospitals, two long term care centers, more than a dozen physician clinic locations and a charitable foundation. It has a designated Accountable Care Organization.
Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.
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