Quest Diagnostics breach exposes personal information of millions of patients

The hacked data includes social security numbers, bank information and medical records.
Updated: Jun. 3, 2019 at 10:25 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Quest Diagnostics is investigating after the American Medical Collection Agency, a billing company Quest contracts with, reported unauthorized use of its systems that has potentially exposed millions to fraud.

Quest reports that the social security numbers, medical information, credit card numbers, and bank account information of 11.9 million people may have been exposed.

Paul Sems, a cyber security expert at TrustedSec -- a security company based in Strongsville -- said if you are a client of Quest you should check your financials starting with a look at your credit report for any unauthorized activity.

“Most likely because of that breach you will be offered that service by Quest, but you want to make sure your financial information is protected,” Sems said.

And in this case, because medical records were exposed you should take a good look at your insurance statements, specifically your health savings accounts which could be drained by unauthorized use.

“Take a look at your explanation of benefits that you get from your insurance statements and make sure those transactions are actually the transactions you expect,” Sems said.

The billing company, A.M.C.A. has taken down the web-based payment option from their web site but has not yet provided complete or detailed information to Quest about the breach.

The big picture, as it relates to medical fraud, is that this breach could affect everyone.

“I would say all the fraud that takes place in the medical industry causes much higher premiums and as we know those premiums are going up every year,” Sems said.

Quest reports that lab reports were not included in the data breach which is a bit of good news for patients who may have undergone sensitive medical testing.

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