McKesson subsidiary exposed over 10,000 patients' information via Google search; data exposed for more than 4 months
PST Services, a McKesson subsidiary providing medical billing services, reportedly had a breach that impacted multiple clients and left more than 10,000 patients’ information exposed via Google search for over four months. The full scope of the breach has yet to be determined.
Based on HHS’s public breach tool, it appears that the breach occurred on December 1, 2013 and affected 24 On Physicians – Georgia (IN Compass Health), who notified HHS that 10,104 of their patients were affected.
It also appears to have affected Williamson Medical Center in Tennessee,who reported that 520 of their patients were affected by a breach involving 24 On Physicians. It’s not clear whether the 10,104 figure reported by 24 On Physicians includes Williamsons’ 520 patients or not. INCompass Health did not respond to an e-mail inquiry seeking clarification on that point.
Midwest Orthopaedic Center (MOC) in Illinois also reported a breach to HHS. They listed McKesson Business Performance Services as the business associate involved. In a notice on their web site, MOC writes, in part:
On June 6, 2014, McKesson reported that one of its former affiliates had unintentionally made records containing MOC patient information potentially accessible on the Internet. McKesson indicated that the information was accessible using very specific Google search terms between December 1, 2013, and April 17, 2014. We immediately began working with McKesson and determined that the potentially accessible records may have contained some of our patients’ billing information, including patients’ names, insurance information, diagnosis codes, and, in some instances, social security numbers. McKesson has assured us that this information was immediately safeguarded upon their discovery of the incident and is no longer accessible via the Internet.
This incident does not affect all MOC patients, only a limited number of patients treated between April 1, 2008 and February 25, 2011.
To date, we have no knowledge that any of our patients’ information has been accessed or used improperly.
MOC informed HHS that 680 of their patients were affected.
PHIprivacy.net reached out to McKesson on September 11 to ask for a statement and clarification on the incident, including MOC’s description of PST Services as a “former affiliate.” On September 12, a McKesson spokesperson acknowledged the inquiry and asked for publication deadline, which has now passed without any further communication from them.
If PHIprivacy.net does receive additional clarification or information from McKesson, this post will be updated, but at this point, we do not know how many other PST Services clients and patients may have been impacted by the breach, how it occurred, whether any of the entities affected have received reports of misuse of patient information, and whether PST/McKesson have offered to fund any credit monitoring services for those whose Social Security numbers were involved.