Advocate Medical Group Acknowledges Massive Data Breach

Illinois’ Advocate Medical Group recently began notifying patients and physicians that an Advocate administrative office in Park Ridge, Ill., was burglarized during the night of July 14, 2013, and four password-protected (but not encrypted) computers were stolen.

The stolen computers contained patient information, including names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, treating physicians, diagnoses, medical record numbers, medical service codes, and health insurance information. They also contained physicians’ names, Social Security numbers, license numbers and national provider identifier numbers. No actual patient medical records were exposed.

The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 4 million patients may be affected.

“We have no reason to believe that the password-protected computers were stolen for the information they contained,” Advocate Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Kevin McCune wrote in the notification letter [PDF]. “As a precaution, however, because the computers were unencrypted, we wanted to notify you and assure you that we are diligently investigating this incident.”

All those affected are being offered a free one-year membership in Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert service.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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