Radiology group warns that PACS hackers accessed patients' data

Northeast Radiology announced March 11 that its picture archiving and communication system had been hacked, potentially exposing patients’ personal information.

The Brewster, New York-based imaging chain said the breach was caused by “unauthorized individuals,” and that an investigation with a top forensic security firm had been completed. The company's healthcare management provider, Alliance HealthCare Services, helped with the case and is assessing systems and processes to prevent a similar event in the future.

In total, 29 patients’ data was accessed as a result of the incident, but the New York chain is “not aware” of any instances of “fraud or identity theft,” the company said Wednesday.

The imaging provider is notifying all affected patients as well as those whose information was at-risk during the breach. Such data may have included individual’s names, gender, age, date of birth, exam description, date of service, image, image description, and medical record number which, in some situations, may have corresponded to Social Security numbers.

“Northeast Radiology apologizes for any inconvenience or concern that this incident might cause,” the company said in its announcement. “For many years, Northeast Radiology has been serving the medical imaging needs in New York, Connecticut and surrounding communities, and remains committed to providing patients the highest quality of care while working to prevent these types of incidents from occurring in the future.”