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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

HealthEC Data Breach Impacts 4.5 Million Patients

HealthEC Data Breach Impacts 4.5 Million Patients
Zane Kennedy Published on 7th January 2024 Cybersecurity Researcher

HealthEC LLC, a leading provider of population health management services, has announced a substantial data breach. The incident, which occurred between July 14 and July 23, 2023, exposed the personal and medical information of an estimated 4.5 million individuals. Further deepening the impact, the breach also involved the compromise of sensitive data entrusted to HealthEC by its business partners.

In an incident notice published on its website, the company explained that unauthorized access to HealthEC’s systems led to the copying of sensitive files. The compromised data includes personal identifiers such as names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

Additionally, medical data encompassing medical record numbers, diagnoses, mental and physical conditions, prescription details, and healthcare provider information were exposed. Health insurance details and billing information were also accessed in the breach.

The HealthEC notice further explained that the impact of this breach extends to several of its business partners, including healthcare providers and state-level health systems. Notably affected partners include Corewell Health, HonorHealth, the University Medical Center of Princeton Physicians' Organization, and the State of Tennessee’s Division of TennCare.

Although the initial notification did not specify the extent of the impact, HealthEC later disclosed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the breach resulted in the unauthorized access of personal information belonging to nearly 4.5 million people.

In response to the breach, HealthEC promptly initiated an investigation, securing its network and collaborating with federal law enforcement. The company thoroughly reassessed its security policies and procedures, aiming to fortify its defenses against future cyber threats.

HealthEC has also emphasized the importance of vigilance against identity theft and fraud to affected individuals. The company has recommended that they monitor account statements, explanations of benefits statements, and credit reports for unusual activity. They also advise considering the enactment of fraud alerts on credit files or credit freezes on credit reports as preventive measures.

This data breach is part of a worrying trend of increased cyberattacks in the healthcare sector. Recent incidents include the theft of millions of personal records in the Norton Healthcare hack, the data breach of 9 million records from the medical transcription firm Perry Johnson & Associates (PJ&A), and the McLaren Health Care breach, which exposed data of 2.2 million patients. These cyber incidents underscore the urgent need for enhanced online security protocols and serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in managing sensitive health data.

Affected individuals are encouraged to contact HealthEC's dedicated assistance line or visit their website for more detailed information on the breach and the steps they should take to protect their accounts.

About the Author

Zane is a Cybersecurity Researcher and Writer at vpnMentor. His extensive experience in the tech and cybersecurity industries provides readers with accurate and trustworthy news stories and articles. He aims to help individuals protect themselves through informative content and awareness of cybersecurity's crucial role in today's digital landscape.