LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A data breach at a company that operates hospitals across the country announced on Monday that hackers stole personal identification data from 4.5 million patients in April and June.
Community Health Systems, which operates Longview Regional Medical Center and Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin, says hackers gained access to patients' names, Social Security numbers, physical addresses, birthday and telephone numbers. The hack affects patients who were seen at physician practices and clinics affiliated with the hospitals over the past five years.
The company confirmed that the compromised data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information.
A spokesperson for the hospitals said affected patients will receive a letter notifying them that their data was included and and will provide them with a phone number to call. The company plans to offer identity theft protection services to individuals affected by the attack.
In a statement, Community Health Services said they were able to remove the malware from their systems and implemented safeguards to protect against future attacks. A company contracted by CHS to investigate the breach says the attack originated in China by a group using highly sophisticated technology to attach Community Health Services' systems.
Community Health Services operates hospitals in 28 states, with the largest number operating in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas