Community Health Network’s patient data may be breached

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:36 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Community Health Network announced Friday that patient data may have been leaked to other websites due to tracking technologies called “cookies” and “pixels.”

An investigation by Community determined that these third-party tracking technologies had been transmitting information to other tech vendors such as Facebook and Google, including:

  • Patients’ computer IP address; dates, times, and/or locations of scheduled appointments
  • Health care provider information
  • Type of appointment or procedure scheduled
  • Communications that occurred through MyChart, which may have included first and last name and medical record number
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • The name of any MyChart account proxy.

The investigation did not find that any patients’ social security numbers, financial account numbers or debit/credit card information was collected.

Community Health said it conducted the investigation after learning about the concerns of using cookies on health websites. They found that cookies were used on their websites, on functions such as the MyChart patient portal and some appointment scheduling sites.

Cookies are commonly used by other U.S. healthcare organizations to improve access to information about patient services and manage the websites, Community Health Network said.

To mitigate the effects of the breech, Community said it removed all tracking technologies from their websites and has improved the process of evaluating its website technologies. It is also encouraging those who potentially had information leaked to protect themselves from website tracking, which you can do by changing privacy settings.

Community Health Network reported the incident for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil rights and said it is deeply sorry and is contacting the individuals who were affected by the leak.

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