Data breach may have affected 500k+ patients, LifeBridge Health says

Baltimore, Md.-based LifeBridge Health notified more than 500,000 patients last week that their personal information may have been compromised during a privacy breach in September 2016.

The health system told Becker's Hospital Review in an emailed statement May 23 that on March 18, officials discovered malware on the server that hosts electronic medical records data for the health system's affiliated physician group and the shared registration and billing system for other LifeBridge providers.

Officials immediately investigated and found an unauthorized person had accessed LifeBridge's server in September 2016. The health system told Becker's it does not believe patient information was misused, but it notified more than 500,000 patients of the incident in a May 18 letter as a precaution.

"LifeBridge Health and LifeBridge Potomac Professionals [Potomac Physicians] take the protection of health information very seriously. While we have no reason to believe patient information has been misused in any way, out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying potentially affected patients as well as providing resources for those who have questions or concerns. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern that this situation may have caused," the health system said in a prepared statement to Becker's.

LifeBridge opened a call center to assist patients seeking additional information, officials said. For patients whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised, officials are offering one-year of complimentary credit card monitoring and identity protection services.

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