Experian Health Breach Impacts Cook County Health and Hospitals System Patients

by | Nov 16, 2017

Patients of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, a health system comprising two hospitals and more than a dozen community health centers in Cook County Illinois, have been made aware of a breach of their protected health information.

The breach happened at Experian Health, a business associate of Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Experian Health is hired to determine insurance eligibility and limited patient information is shared to the business associate for this aim.

The breach happened in March 2017 during an upgrade of Experian Health’s computer system. The protected health information of 727 patients was mistakenly shared to other healthcare systems. The PHI disclosed was restricted and did not include the types of information sought by cybercriminals to carry out identity theft.

Due to the restricted disclosure of PHI, and the fact that the data was shared to organizations covered by HIPAA Rules, the risk to patients is believed to be low. To date, Experian Health has not been alerted of any unauthorized uses of the disclosed information. The breach was restricted to patients’ names, medical record numbers, dates of birth, and account details.

Following identification of the breach, Experian Health took steps to recover and secure the disclosed data and steps have been taken to avoid similar incidents from exposing the PHI of patients. Cook County Health and Hospitals System also investigated the breach and is satisfied with the actions taken by Experian Health to prevent similar breaches from happening in the future.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System was made aware f the breach on August 1, 2017 and a substitute breach notice was published on the health system’s website on October 2, 2017. All patients affected by the breach have now been alerted by mail and a breach report has been registered to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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