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Personal data of about 4 million patients at risk after robbery

Aug. 24, 2013 at 1:42 AM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Personal data of about 4 million patients -- but not medical records -- of Advocate Medical Group in Illinois may be at risk after a robbery, officials say.

Kelly Jo Golson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Advocate Health Care, which has its headquarters in Downers Grove, said Friday four desktop computers were stolen in a July 15 burglary of an administrative building in Park Ridge, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Information included on the computers included names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, but no medical records or personal financial information, of patients seen by doctors affiliated with the medical group from the early 1990s through July, Golson said.

The medical group has begun sending letters to the patients affected offering a free year of credit monitoring services to those whose information may have been exposed.

Advocate Medical Group, part of Advocate Health Care, the region's largest hospital chain with 12 hospitals, is the region's largest physician group with more than 1,000 doctors and 200 locations in Illinois. The desktop computers were password protected, but not encrypted, Golson said.

"Nothing leads us to believe the computers were taken for the information they contain, and there is no information to suggest any of that data has been used in an inappropriate way," Golson told the Tribune. "We want our patients to know security is a top priority, and we're focused right now on putting together resources to make sure we can help answer any questions."

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