FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) – 4.5 million patients who went to hospitals owned by Community Health Systems (CHS) have cause for concern after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that their data had been hacked between April and June of this year.
South Baldwin Regional Medical Center released a statement Tuesday saying in part:
“Limited personal identification data belonging to some patients who were seen by employed physician clinics of Foley Clinic Corporation over the past five years was transferred out of our organization in a criminal cyber-attack by a foreign-based intruder.”
Fox10 News reached out to CHS for comment about what affected patients should do. They said in an email that victims should expect a letter that will have an 800 number to call for more assistance as well as a way to sign up for free identity theft protection for a year.
Experts said, at this point, it’s best not to panic, but rather wait until you get that letter.
“Wait until you get notification from the hospital that you’re information has been included in the data that was compromised…they’re going to be required by federal law to do an exhaustive investigation to pin point exactly what information was stolen,” Identity Theft Expert Carrie Kerskie said.
In its release, South Baldwin Regional Medical Center adds:
“We take very seriously the security and confidentiality of private patient information and we sincerely regret any concern or inconvenience this event may cause for patients of Foley Clinic Corp.”
The help number for Baldwin hospitals is 1-855-205-6951. It will be active starting Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.