Data breach affects 1.2 million patients at Illinois system

Millions of patients at Chicago-based Cook County Health could have had their protected health information stolen as the health system's former medical transportation services firm, Perry Johnson & Associates, suffered a data breach, CBS News reported Nov. 3. 

In July, Perry Johnson & Associates reported that an unauthorized individual gained access to its systems containing patient data in April, potentially affecting the personal information of Cook County Health patients.

Upon learning of this, Cook County Health ended its contract with the company and ceased data sharing.

On Oct. 9, Perry Johnson & Associates told Cook County Health that 1.2 million of its patients had protected health information compromised as a result of the incident. 

According to Perry Johnson & Associates, the following patient information may have been exposed in the breach — names, birthdates, addresses, medical record numbers, encounter numbers, medical details and dates and times of service.

Additionally, the records of approximately 2,600 patients may have included Social Security numbers.

Cook County Health has stated that it will be reaching out to patients impacted by the breach, offering guidance on safeguarding their data. The health system also said it has found no evidence that any personal information has been misused. 

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