MA: Emerson Hospital reports data breach

Robert Mills reports, in relevant part:

Emerson Hospital is offering a two-year membership to an identity protection service to 6,300 patients whose personal information was part of a data breach caused by a third-party vendor last year.

In a statement released Friday, the hospital said the data breach occurred between May 9 and May 17 of last year, when a third-party vendor the hospital uses to assist with collecting payments, MiraMed Global Services, sent electronic files containing patient information to an unauthorized third party.

The hospital performed an internal review of the incident and determined personal information for about 6,300 patients, including combinations of names, addresses, Social Security numbers and insurance policy numbers, were disclosed, according to the hospital’s statement.

So this sounds remarkably like the description of the breach impacting  45,000 patients at Rush, but the Rush Medical Center report did not name the third-party vendor.  As I reported in my coverage of the Rush notification:

In this incident, it appears that “an employee of one of the hospital system’s billing processing vendors improperly disclosed a file to “an unauthorized party,” likely in May 2018, according to a letter sent to affected patients.”  The vendor was not identified.

The breach was reportedly discovered on Jan. 22. Letters were sent to affected patients on February 25, and the hospital suspended its contract with the claims processing vendor.

While Rush did not name the vendor, a report by ModernHealthcare indicated that a Rush spokeperson named Miramed Revenue Group in Lombard, Illinois as the vendor. MRG is part of MiraMed Global Services.

So I suppose our next questions might be,  “How many more covered entities have to notify patients because of this rogue employee?  And has this person been arrested and charged criminally yet?” has sent an inquiry to MiraMed Global Services to ask for additional details, including whether there has been any arrest or criminal charges.  This post will be updated if more information becomes available.


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