AMCA Victim Count Swells to Almost 25 Million Records

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The number of healthcare providers confirmed to have been affected by the data breach at American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) has grown considerably over the past few days. The victim count is now nearing 25 million and 18 healthcare providers are now known to have been affected.

The AMCA breach was discovered by its parent company, Retrieval Masters Credit Bureau (RMCB), on March 21, 2019. An investigation was launched to determine the extent of the attack, which revealed the hacker had access to the AMCA payment web page for around 8 months. During that time, the hacker had access to vast quantities of sensitive patient information, including financial information and Social Security numbers.

AMCA notified all entities that had been affected by the breach in May 2019; however, only limited information was released. Most of the covered entities affected by the breach were not given sufficient information to allow the affected patients to be identified. Quest Diagnostics was the first to announce that it has been impacted by the breach, closely followed by LabCorp and BioReference Laboratories. Many more healthcare providers have made announcements in the past week.

AMCA has been issuing breach notification letters to affected individuals whose financial information was exposed, but other individuals have not yet been notified. For example, Austin Pathology recently confirmed it has been affected by the breach. Austin Pathology was told around 1,800 breach notification letters had been sent to Austin Pathology patients whose financial information was exposed.

Austin Pathology has confirmed that 46,500 patients have been impacted. The 44,700 patients who have yet to be notified had their name, address, telephone number, date of birth, dates of service, provider details, and account balances exposed. It could well be weeks before all affected patients are notified.

AMCA Data Breach Victims

 

Affected Entity Records Exposed
Quest Diagnostics/Optum360 11,900,000
LabCorp 7,700,000
BioReference Laboratories/Opko Health 422,600
Penobscot Community Health Center 13,000
Clinical Pathology Associates 2,200,000
Carecentrix 500,000
Austin Pathology Associates 46,500
Seacoast Pathology, Inc 10,000
Arizona Dermatopathology 7,000
American Esoteric Laboratories 541,900
CBLPath Inc. 148,900
Sunrise Medical Laboratories 427,000
Natera 3,000
South Texas Dermatopathology PLLC 16,100
Laboratory of Dermatology ADX, LLC 4,240
Laboratory Medicine Consultants 147,600
Pathology Solutions 13,300
Western Pathology Consultants 4,550

So far, the protected health information of 24,105,690 individuals is known to have been exposed.

As it stands, the AMCA data breach is the second largest healthcare data breach ever reported, behind Anthem’s 78.8 million-record-breach that was discovered in 2015.

The cost of AMCA’s breach response has been considerable. AMCA has sent more than 7 million breach notification letters, IT consultants have been hired to assist with the investigation, and as of June 19, 2019, $3.8 million had been spent on the breach response. $2.5 million of that came from RMCB CEO Russell Fuchs, who lent the company the money to cover the cost of the breach notifications. RMCB has since filed for Chapter 11 protection.

AMCA will also be investigated by state attorneys general and the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights to determine whether the breach could be attributed to poor security and noncompliance with HIPAA. OCR has previously fined defunct companies for historic HIPAA violations. Bankruptcy does not offer protection against regulatory fines.

Author: HIPAA Journal

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