Health

Ransomware incident exposes medical data in Pennsylvania

Maternal & Family Health Services, a nonprofit organization that oversees and supports a network of health and nutrition centers in 17 northeastern Pennsylvania counties, announced Tuesday that it was hit with “sophisticated” ransomware on April 4, 2022. 

WHY IT MATTERS

The unauthorized access to the organization’s systems occurred between August 21, 2021 and April 4, 2022, according to the statement. 

MFHS, which serves more than 90,000 women, men and children annually, offers pregnancy care, reproductive health services and more and administers a WIC nutrition program.

The organization began sending letters this week to potentially impacted patients to inform them that their personal information may have been compromised. 

The personal and financial data could include names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account/payment card information, usernames and passwords, medical information and/or health insurance information.

MFHS is offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to those whose Social Security number and/or financial account/payment card information may have been involved in the incident.

THE LARGER TREND

Ransomware hits providers and agencies, both small and large, and cybercriminals will attack profit and non-profit organizations. 

The healthcare industry’s size makes all players a target for cyberattacks

Whether it’s a business associate of CMS or a nationwide provider like CommonSpirit Health, organizations are left scrambling to maintain care and services while they get systems back online and implement back-ups. 

And while larger provider systems may be more complex than small medical groups, “they still have the same kind of risk, as we have [all] leveraged technology to deliver care,” Erik Decker, CISO for Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, told Healthcare IT News in September.

ON THE RECORD

“We understand the inconvenience or concern this incident may cause and are committed to strengthening our systems’ security to prevent this kind of incident from happening again,” said Maria Montoro Edwards, president & CEO of Maternal & Family Health Services, in a statement.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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