Cyberattack at Ardent Health Services was “Severe”. Patient and employee identities may be at risk of identity theft.
Ardent Health Services, which oversees 30 hospitals and more than 200 health care facilities across the U.S., said Monday that it had been the victim of a severe ransomware attack in Oklahoma, News Mexico and Texas, forcing it to take action.
Ardent said it had shut down a significant number of its computerized services, including clinical programs and its use of Epic Systems, a program that tracks patients’ health care records and diverted patients from their emergency rooms.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, Ardent Health Services and its affiliated entities (Ardent) became aware of an information technology cybersecurity incident, which has since been determined to be a ransomware attack. Ardent’s information technology (IT) team immediately began working to understand the event, safeguard data, and regain functionality. As a result, Ardent proactively took its network offline, suspending all user access to its information technology applications, including corporate servers, Epic software, internet and clinical programs.
On January 24, 2024, Ardent filed a notice of data breach with the Attorney General of Texas. In this notice, Ardent explains that the incident resulted in an unauthorized party being able to access consumers’ sensitive information, which includes:
- phone numbers,
- email addresses,
- Social Security numbers,
- medical treatment information,
- health insurance and claims information,
- Medicaid or Medicare numbers.
Commencing January 22, 2024, Ardent has begun the process of mailing out letters to individuals affected by the breach.
Is My Identity At Risk?
Given that personal identifying information was obtained during the breach. patients and employees should remain vigilant.
Stolen personally identifiable information (PII) can be used to commit identity theft, open new credit accounts, make unauthorized purchases or obtain loans. Cyber-criminals have recently targeted America’s healthcare industry and in so doing have forced millions of Americans to face the fallout from these attacks.
Leaked or stolen healthcare data can be sold on the dark web forums and may be used for fraud and medical identity theft, a type of fraud, where threat actors use stolen information to submit forged claims to insurers.
What To Do If You Receive Notification From Ardent Health That Your Identity May Be At Risk
If you received a data breach notification from Ardent Health Services, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. A data breach lawyer can help you learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, as well as discuss your legal options following this data breach.
It is critical to begin to take the next steps after a data breach targets your personal data. You may contact a data privacy lawyer to learn about how to protect your accounts, and how to file a class action data breach lawsuit. By filing a claim, you can recover compensation and hold any negligent party accountable for their action or inaction. There is no cost to you.