NY Hospital Reports Internet Breach

Information on 6,800 Patients Vulnerable
NY Hospital Reports Internet Breach
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center says a security breach may have exposed information on 6,800 patients on the Internet in July.

"The information was inadvertently exposed on a web page, and as soon as this error was discovered, we made sure that the web page was removed," according to a hospital statement.

Only 10 of the patients had their Social Security numbers exposed. Other information included patient names, as well as a variety of other data, including age, vital signs, medications and lab test results. In most cases, not all of this information was included. The hospital says it has no evidence that any of the information has been misused.

The hospital is offering all affected patients one year's free membership in a credit protection service. It's also "strengthening our information and security systems and enhancing our employees' awareness," according to the statement.

The incident, discovered July 29, was not reported sooner because the hospital was investigating the details. Under the HITECH Act's interim final breach notification rule, breaches affecting 500 or more individuals must be reported to those affected and the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights within 60 days.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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