Greenville medical practice hacked: What patients need to know

News

A medical practice in Greenville was hacked and patients of Milestone Family Medicine are now at risk of identity theft.

It happened in January when the practice was under Bon Secours Saint Francis Health System.

It was actually two months ago today (March 4) that Bon Secours says it learned of the breach.  

Patients are only just now learning about it because the hospital system says it wanted to first investigate what happened and the scope of the hack. 

Names, birth dates, addresses, medical info and social security numbers that’s the kind of data Bon Secours says hackers took from Milestone Family Medicine in Greenville. 

Longtime patient Jean Lister is wondering why anyone would want her medical data.

“A lot of things have been stolen but I didn’t think about that,” said Lister.  

IT security expert Kevin Hodges at USC Upstate says health insurance information is even more profitable on the dark web than credit card info.

“The fact that someone can take that information and tie it to your insurance company and then use it to file false claims in your name, could make IT theft even worse because they’ve altered and tampered with your entire medical history,” said Hodges.

Bon Secours declined an on camera interview and would not say how many patients are affected but the hospital system is sending a letter to them offering identity protection services.

In a statement Bon Secours told 7News “its investigation found Milestone was using systems and programs not managed by Bon Secours.  The attack targeted electronic health record systems that allowed remote user access to the internet.” 

Bon Secours says its IT security team visited all of its physician practices to review computer programs, and any internet connections for systems not used to support patient care were shut down to avoid future hacks.

“Just like anybody else you don’t want your information stolen and it’s amazing that people make a living out of doing that, people wake up every morning and try to figure out how to steel your hard earned money from you,” said James Sibley, a patient with Milestone for 20 years.

State agencies like the Department of Consumer Affairs will also likely be conducting an investigation into the breach.   

For now, patients should review the statements they receive from their health care providers and call if there are charges for any services they did not receive.

Milestone is now operating under Spartanburg Regional Health System, a move that was planned before the breach was discovered.

If you have any questions you can call: 1-877-239-1255,

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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