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More Patient Information Exposed at Chicago-Area Hospitals

In the wake of the massive data breach of four million patients at Advocate Medical comes word of other patient files being compromised at Chicago-area medical facilities. A front-page story of the Chicago Tribune ("Patient files left exposed," Sept. 10, 2013) explain how records were found scattered at the now closed Edgewater hospital, which has been the site of many break-ins. Chicago Tribune reporters Ameet Sachdev and Nancy Loo reported that despite Edgewater Medical Center's closing 12 years ago, the door to the room housing medical records did not have a lock. "Medical files were scattered on tables elsewhere in the building. Boxes of files in water-filled rooms were covered with mold," the Tribune reported. Pictures of the condition of the records that were taken by the Illinois Department of Public Health were published in the Tribune. The entire story can be read here. It also was reported by the University of Chicago Physicians Group that a "potential incident" may have affected the protection of health information of up to 1,344 patient files. On Sept. 6, 2013, the University of Chicago Medicine reported that the potential breach occurred within the network of its collection agency, ICS, that the Physicians Group retained. After its contract with ICS reportedly was terminated, "ICS said it discovered an external person may have been able to view these files while on the ICS website," the release on its website stated. The Medical Group said letters were sent to patients who may have been affected. Clifford Law Offices filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of four million patients who had their privacy and medical information stolen from Advocate Medical when four computers were allegedly stolen from their Park Ridge administrative offices in July. To learn more about it, visit the law firm's website here.

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