SOURCE: Advocate Health Care

August 23, 2013 21:43 ET

Advocate Medical Group Notifies Patients, Offers Protection Following Office Burglary

DOWNERS GROVE, IL--(Marketwired - August 23, 2013) -  Advocate Medical Group (AMG) leaders announced today that they have been working internally and with law enforcement to investigate the July 15 burglary of an Advocate administrative office in Park Ridge, Ill., that may have affected their patients.

Immediately after discovering that four computers were stolen, that same day, the Park Ridge Police Department was notified. AMG then launched an investigation and discovered that while the computers did not contain patient medical records, they did house patient information, including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. The computers also had limited clinical information, such as the treating physicians and/or departments, diagnoses, medical record numbers, medical service codes, and health insurance data. 

"The most important thing is that this issue has no impact on patient care," said Kevin McCune, M.D., Advocate Medical Group's Chief Medical Officer. "Security is a top priority for our health care ministry. Nothing leads us to believe that the computers were taken for the information they contained or that any patient information has been used inappropriately."

Dr. McCune says approximately 4.03 million patients are being notified and are being providing free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. AMG is also taking aggressive steps to reduce the possibility of this happening again, including the addition of 24/7 security personnel at this facility as well as accelerated deployment of enhanced technical safeguards.

"While we are keenly focused on the investigation and security enhancements, everyone's efforts right now are concentrated on our affected patients," he said. "If one patient is impacted -- that's one too many."

To date the stolen computers have not been recovered. Individuals wishing to learn more should visit www.patientnotice.org.

Advocate Medical Group is a physician-led medical group providing primary care, specialty services, medical imaging, outpatient services and community-based medical practices throughout Chicagoland and Central Illinois. One of the state's largest medical groups with more than 1,100 primary and specialty care physicians in over 200 locations, Advocate Medical Group is part of Advocate Health Care, one of the leading, integrated health care systems in the nation. More information can be found at amgdoctors.com, or by calling 1.800.3.ADVOCATE (1.800.323.8622).

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