Members of at least two health insurance plans notified of ransomware attack on PracticeMax (updated)
Updated March 7, 2022: PracticeMax reported this incident to the Maine Attorney General’s Office as impacting a total of 165,698 patients. Their updated notice explains that the breach began on April 17, 2021, and they became aware of technical problems on May 1, 2021. The notice also reads, in part:
On October 19, 2021, while review of the server continued, PracticeMax began notifying potentially affected individuals on behalf of certain PracticeMax customers. Other notifications include notice to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the media. PracticeMax also notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
On or around February 2, 2022, PracticeMax completed the review of the involved server and on February 14, 2022, began updating its customers. While the information is not the same for each entity and individual involved, the potentially impacted personal information as defined by Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 10, § 1347 includes name and Social Security number.
The notice on their website provides more details on the types of information.
On June 30, PracticeMax notified HHS of a breach involving 500 patients that they coded as a hacking/IT incident with data on the network server. DataBreaches.net generally suspects that reports of “500” impacted or “501” are really just markers for breaches where the entity knows that there are more than 500 patients impacted but they haven’t figured out how many yet.
Unsurprisingly, then, at the end of September, Humana reported an incident impacting 4,424 health plan members. Their letter stated that the health plan offers a program known as VillageHealth to assist members with a medical condition whose name Humana redacted from their template notice but from other information in the letter, related to kidney care for those with advanced kidney disease.
VillageHealth, in turn, uses a vendor, PracticeMax, to share the results of their services with Humana.
According to Humana’s letter, the PracticeMax network experienced a ransomware attack that began on April 17, 2021 and ended on May 5, 2021. The attack was discovered on May 1. PracticeMax regained access to its systems on May 6, 2021 and its investigation determined that one server containing protected health information (PHI) was accessed and certain files were removed. The PHI included Humana member ID number and clinical data related to kidney care services.
Now Anthem has mailed out essentially the same notification to some of their members (see embedded notification at the bottom of this post).
We do not yet know the number impacted for Anthem. Nor do we know how many other health insurers use VillageHealth and are notifying members about PracticeMax’s ransomware incident.
DataBreaches.net has sent an email inquiry to PracticeMax asking for more information about the scope of this breach. The inquiry also asked whether PracticeMax paid any ransom because this incident has not shown up on any of the usual leak sites on the dark web — at least, not yet.
While no reply was immediately available, this post will be updated if more information becomes available.Village Health_PracMax_ANTHEM 10.8.21_No SSN (002)