Georgia Southern professor discusses impacts of HCA Healthcare data breach

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Healthcare data breaches have doubled in the past three years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Memorial Health’s parent company, HCA Healthcare, had a data breach not long ago affecting 11 million patients.

IT professor Dr. Hayden Wimmer at Georgia Southern says there are several things you need to know if a health care facility with your information gets hacked.

“You should be concerned about what data was leaked.”

Recently, HCA Healthcare had a data breach and several of Memorial Health’s facilities in Savannah and Vidalia were affected.

“It seemed like it was their system that was responsible for emailing people things like appointment reminders. That system wouldn’t have detailed information about your particular health care situation,” said Dr. Wimmer.

A release from HCA says this information including the patient’s name and emails address was breached.

Dr. Wimmer says patients should be incredibly cautions for scams, phishing and credit card breaches. You should not give out any sensitive information over email and be cautious of emails asking to you to click a link.

Dr. Wimmer says hacks are happening more often. If health care information was breached it can be very costly for a company.

“What they’ll generally try to do is A, hold a ransom, tell the company we’re going to release the data, if you don’t pay us. Often times they will sell it on the black market, usually on the dark web or they will sell it and use it to scam people.”

Dr. Wimmer hopes more companies will be proactive and hire cyber security professionals before a hack occurs.

“Often times what they do is just push this task on to either the network people or somebody else as kind of an after though but it needs to be like a business strategy.”

You can read HCA’s full news release on their website.