Anyone who's received a notice that their information was compromised during a data breach at Medical Informatics Engineering, Inc.
What's Going On?
Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) is being sued for allegedly failing to protect patients' personal and medical information.
A number of class action lawsuits have been filed against Medical Informatics Engineering, Inc. (MIE) over the data breach that was discovered in June 2015. The lawsuits claim that the company failed to properly safeguard the information of the nearly four million Americans whose personal and medical data was compromised in the breach. According to a notice released by Medical Informatics Engineering, information including Social Security numbers, security questions and answers, and health insurance policy information was affected.
Why Is Medical Informatics Getting Sued?
The lawsuits allege that Medical Informatics did not have adequate systems in place to prevent the breach and has put patients at risk for serious and on-going medical and identity theft.
On June 10, 2015, Medical Informatics announced that the security of some patients’ information had been compromised in a data breach. It later updated this announcement to state that the following personal and health information was compromised:
Names, phone numbers and mailing addresses
Usernames and passwords
Security questions and answers
Social Security numbers
Health insurance policy information
Information on patients’ spouses and children
Lab results and diagnoses
Disability codes and medical conditions
According to the lawsuits, it took Medical Informatics three weeks to discover that hackers had gained access to their systems, indicating that they did not have proper precautions in place to prevent a data breach. Furthermore, the suit claims that even though Medical Informatics knew about the breach on May 26, 2015, it waited until July 17 to send notices out to patients whose information was compromised.
A total of 44 radiology centers and 11 healthcare providers were affected. The full list can be found here under the heading “Affected Entities.”
How Are Patients Put At Risk by a Medical Data Breach?
According to the lawsuits, identity thieves can use personal information to:
File for tax refunds
Open new bank accounts
Take out loans
Clone credit and debit cards
In addition to the risk of identity theft, the suits say, patients’ health may also be endangered by inaccurate entries in their medical records. According to the lawsuits, “this inaccurate information can potentially cause victims to receive improper medical care, have their insurance depleted, become ineligible for health or life insurance, or become disqualified from some jobs.” The lawsuits point out that patients may not even be aware of these inaccurate entries because they rarely review their medical records. They may not know something’s wrong until they receive collection notices or go to a doctor or hospital to find that their coverage limits have been met.