Virus prevented California medical group from accessing records, exposed 198,000 patients

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Ontario, Calif.-based Centrelake Medical Group is alerting 197,661 patients that their personal health information may have been exposed because of a computer virus, according to the HIPAA Journal.

The eight-center imaging and oncology medical group discovered a computer virus in February that left physicians unable to access files. It is unclear if the virus was a form of malware.

Upon investigation, Centrelake Medical Group learned an unauthorized third-party gained access to its computer servers on Jan. 9, the HIPAA Journal reports. While the virus was not deployed until Feb. 19, the unauthorized individual was able to access the computers undetected.

The servers that were accessed contained software applications and files that may have stored patients’ names, phone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, diagnoses, services performed, dates of service, medical record numbers, referring provider information and driver’s license numbers.

Centrelake Medical Group notified patients that although there has been no indication of data misuse, patients should still monitor their financial accounts.

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