CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is encouraging all West Virginia residents who were referred to or received services from physicians affiliated with Community Health Systems, Inc. in the past five years to review their credit reports and accounts for possible unauthorized activity, and take advantage of one year of free credit monitoring being offered by the company.
Community Health Systems, or CHS, operates a number of hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices in Southern West Virginia. Last month, the company announced that it had been the victim of a data breach and that some non-medical patient information may have been affected.
“We encourage anyone who may have been impacted by the data breach to use the free credit monitoring services that the company is offering,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Patients also should carefully review any and all bills, invoices, and statements to ensure everything is correct.”
On Aug. 19, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, commonly known by its trade names CHS and Community Health Systems, publicly reported a data breach affecting at least 4.5 million patients nationwide. The following clinics were affected in West Virginia:
- Oak Hill Clinic Corp.
- Oak Hill Hospital Corp.
- Bluefield Clinic Company LLC
- Greenbrier Valley Anesthesia LLC
- Greenbrier Valley Emergency Physicians
- Ronceverte Physician Group
Hackers gained access to patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers. The company has confirmed that the stolen data did NOT include patient credit card, medical, or clinical information. CHS has indicated the data breach occurred in physician practices affiliated with the company, not in its hospitals.
CHS recently sent letters to individuals whose information was taken in this cyber-attack informing them about the data breach and how to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services. Affected consumers can expect to receive a notification letter from CHS in the near future. If a consumer actually becomes a victim of identity theft because of the breach, restoration services will be provided free of charge.
Consumers with questions or concerns about this cyber-attack are asked to call 1-855-205-6951 toll-free.
Anyone wanting more information on preventing identity theft or to report suspicious activity is contact the West Virginia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338. Free information also is available online at www.ago.wv.gov and www.ftc.gov.