Saturday, March 25, 2023

Community Health Network’s patient data may be breached

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Community Health Network announced Friday that patient data may have been leaked to other websites due to tracking technologies called “cookies” and “pixels.”

An investigation by the Community determined that these third-party tracking technologies had transmitted information to other technology vendors such as Facebook and Google, such as

  • IP address of the patient’s computer; dates, times and/or locations of scheduled meetings
  • Health Care Provider Information
  • The type of meeting or scheduled procedure
  • Communications that occurred through MyChart, which may have included your first and last name and medical record number
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • The name of each MyChart account representative.

The investigation did not reveal that patients’ social security numbers, financial account numbers, or debit/credit card information were collected.

Community Health said it carried out the investigation after learning of concerns about the use of cookies on health websites. They found that cookies were used on their websites, in features such as the MyChart patient portal and some appointment scheduling sites.

Cookies are commonly used by other US health care organizations to improve access to information about patient services and to manage websites, the Community Health Network said.

To mitigate the effects of the outage, Community said it removed all tracking technologies from its websites and improved its website technology evaluation process. It’s also encouraging leakers to protect themselves from website tracking, which you can do by changing your privacy settings.

Community Health Network reported the incident to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights and said it deeply regrets and is reaching out to individuals affected by the leak.

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