2 Tucson hospitals and 6 urgent cares affected by cyber-security - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

2 Tucson hospitals and 6 urgent cares affected by cyber-security breach

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Patients at two Tucson-area hospitals could be among millions of people hit in a new online security breach.

A company that works with hundreds of hospitals across the United States, Community Health Systems, says criminals recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients, going back five years.

The Tucson-area facilities affected are Northwest Medical Center, Oro Valley Hospital and six Northwest Urgent Care centers.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the stolen information includes patient names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and telephone numbers.

It's all information that could be used to steal a person's identity.

CHS says the hackers did not get medical or credit card information. 

Community Health Systems also operates Payson Regional Medical Center and Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City.

According to a Northwest Medical Center spokesperson, the breach in the Tucson area affects patients who were seen by doctors who were members of Northwest Allied Physicians.

The spokesperson says that includes physicians at Northwest's six urgent cares and hospitalists at Northwest Medical Center and Oro Valley Hospital.

News of the breach came as a surprise to people who have used the local hospitals.

"It's just part of every day life. It just happens to--Target--it happened to. It's just--I mean it's sad that people have to do things like that but you deal with it and go on," says Vicki Semple.

Joyce Sanford says, "You know you can't go back and shut the barn door after the horse is out, so you're kind of stuck with that. And it's out there now. And it's something that I suppose we should all go back and double check our credit reports."

Linda Mascarucci is worried her identity could be stolen. "That's scary. I don't care for that too much. And I don't have that much money to begin with. And I don't need them taking anything out of my accounts," Mascarucci says.

In the SEC filing, CHS says its notifying patients and will offer identity theft protection services to people affected by this cyber attack.

In the filing CHS says it's believed the hack originated in China. 

CHS says it is implementing protections to prevent future security breaches.

The FBI is investigating. 

If you have questions, Northwest Medical Center says it's taking calls.

The number is (520) 469-8339.

To read the SEC filing click here.

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