BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Patient information from four southern West Virginia hospitals is part of information hacked from more than 200 hospitals in the U.S.
The Community Health System announced Monday information on 4.5 million patients from its computer network was taken earlier this year. The system’s hospitals in West Virginia are the Bluefield Regional Medical Center, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, Williamson Memorial Hospital and Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill.
Bluefield Regional Medical Director of Marketing Becky Ritter released the following statement Monday evening from Community Health System:
“Limited personal identification data belonging to some patients who were seen at physician practices and clinics affiliated with Bluefield Regional Medical Center over the past five years was transferred out of our organization in a criminal cyber attack by a foreign-based intruder. The transferred information did not include any medical information or credit card information, but it did include names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and social security numbers.”
Ritter said they have no reason to believe the data will ever be used. All impacted patients are being notified by mail and being offered free identity theft protection.
“Our organization believes the intruder was a foreign-based group out of China that was likely looking for intellectual property. The intruder used highly sophisticated methods to bypass security systems. The intruder has been eradicated and applications have been deployed to protect against future attacks. We are working with federal law enforcement authorities in their investigation and will support prosecution of those responsible for this attack,” Community Health System said.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement that his office would protect those who may have had their information compromised.
“If you believe you were affected by this data breach, it will be very important to check your statements carefully,” Morrisey said. “Be on the lookout for things like being billed for medical items you never ordered or received, or if you’re being billed multiple times for certain procedures or items.”