Nebraska Medicine-UNMC patients concerned about hackers getting information

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Patients of a local hospital are sharing their concerns with 6 News after receiving a letter in the mail.

As it turns out hackers did get personal information from thousands of patients.

Hackers got into the computer network causing major disruption at Nebraska Medicine last fall.

The cyber-attack threw appointments and surgeries into a layer of uncertainty for patients. The staff suddenly had to go old school.

In an electronic world, working from paper records often delayed a trip to the doctor. It happened to Kelly Calderone, who was left with questions in September.

“While the Med Center may say the records weren’t deleted or destroyed, how can they confirm that the parties involved that took the information didn’t make copies,” said Kelly.

More than four months after the computer security breach she received a letter from UNMC-Nebraska Medicine.

In fact, the hackers did get private information of patients. From physician notes to lab results, health insurance details to prescriptions. In some cases even social security numbers.

The hackers planted malware in the hospital’s computer system and made some copies of some patient and employee information.

Nebraska Medicine CEO Dr. James Linder said, “We take our commitment to patient and employee privacy incredibly seriously. It is an unfortunate reality of our digital age that ‘bad actors’ are a constant threat to health care.”

The letters from Nebraska Medicine and UNMC include guidance on how patients can now protect the stolen personal information by monitoring hospital statements for charges you did not receive.

Hospital officials say their internal investigation found no evidence that individuals’ personal information has been used to commit fraud or identity theft.

This also impacts some patients at Faith Regional in Norfolk, Great Plains Health in North Platte, and Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings.

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