Another turkey: potential 9M patients affected by medical transcription vendor data breach

Vendors are hot, hot, hot…with hackers. In another notable vendor data incident, Perry Johnson & Associates (PJ&A), a Henderson Nevada-based provider of transcription services for hospitals and physician practices, reported a data security incident to the US Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on 3 November. The breach occurred in the network and files were copied 27 March-2 May, when it was detected. 8.95 million individuals were affected, with over 4 million individuals in NYC and Syracuse at Northwell Health, the largest health provider in New York State, and Crouse Health. Northwell hasn’t had much luck with transcription providers, having been affected by Nuance Communications’ hack earlier this year by one of their vendors–the Progress Software MOVEit file transfer protocol (FTP) theft traced back to ransomwareistes CLOP [TTA 3 Aug].

Personal health information stolen for all included name, date of birth, address, medical record number, hospital account number, admission diagnosis, and date(s) and time(s) of service. While the records didn’t contain financial information, some patients may have had breaches of their Social Security numbers, insurance information and clinical information from medical transcription files, such as laboratory and diagnostic testing results, medications, the name of the treatment facility, and the name of healthcare providers.

PJ&A notified affected providers on 29 September and affected patients on 31 October. In addition to the 4 million+ in New York, 1.2 million individuals were served by Cook County Health in Illinois. The rest have not been identified. TechCrunch, News4NY, PJ&A notice 

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