Scripps Health Cyberattack & Healthcare Security Breach Claims
Scripps Health confirmed that servers were recently subject to a hack, forcing the California health care system to switch to offline systems, leading to various disruptions. Scripps Health has not provided any information on how the hack occurred or which specific systems were affected by the breach.
Medical records have become valuable in the last few years, seen as identity theft and scam jackpots. Knowing this, healthcare systems have a duty to protect themselves and ensure their patient data is secure. If they fail to install proper security and a data breach occurs, victims may take legal action for the potential negligence.
Scripps Health has five hospitals and 19 smaller facilities and treats more than 700,000 patients per year, making it an attractive target for security breaches.
An investigation in underway on how the ransomware attack forced Scripps to suspend the patient portal and switch to alternative patient care operations. In other broad healthcare system hacks and data breach incidents, thousands of patients have seen their personal information compromised.
The issues go beyond data theft in the case of Scripps. San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES) said ambulances were being diverted from Scripps Health facilities to other hospitals in the area. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, medical staff was relying on paper records and that computer systems at two hospitals were impacted, making access to medical imaging and electronic monitoring of a patient’s vitals more difficult.
The Lyon Firm specializes in consumer class actions and has experience representing plaintiffs nationwide in data breach and data theft lawsuits. Joe Lyon is a highly-rated attorney, well-versed in settling data privacy cases on behalf of victims.
Cyberattacks on healthcare systems are not uncommon, and occurred several times over the last year. Such incidents endanger the personal data and private medical information for millions of Americans.
With the rise in telemedicine, there has been a correlated increase in healthcare cyberattacks. In 2020 alone, an estimated 26 million Americans had their protected health information compromised. The mishandling of cloud migration and the digitizing of records for internet-based sharing is a large part of the security issues.
Experts say the poor handling of digitization patient records and moving them to cloud-based services will always pose a risk and those responsible for handling sensitive data must take every precaution available to avoid a potential data breach.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces federal civil rights laws, and has the authority to issue multi-million dollar fines for organizations who fail to adhere to HIPAA regulations.
HIPAA has its limitations, however, and predates modern cybersecurity threats. Thus, consumer safety attorneys are tasked with representing plaintiffs in class action security breach claims, which will compensate victims and hold large corporate entities accountable for their negligence.