LabCorp Announces Data Breach Affecting 7.7 Million Patients
LabCorp reported in a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) that a third-party vendor, American Medical Collection Agency, was compromised. Hackers stole 7.7 million LabCorp patient’s payment information along with personal data like names and birthdates. This is part of the same data breach that affects competitor Quest Diagnostics. In the case of Quest Diagnostics, 11.9 million patients were hacked, bringing the total affected to 19.6 million, so far. It is believed that more hacked accounts have yet to be disclosed.
Hackers compromised the website payment portal of medical collection agency American Medical Collections Agency which allowed them to gain access to patient financial information. The breach occurred between August 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019. Both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics use America Medical to collect past due accounts. Hacked information includes patient financial information such as credit cards and bank account numbers, patient name, birthdate, address, phone number, date of service, the name of the medical provider who ordered the tests, and account balances. Hackers also know if the patient had attempted to pay their medical bills. Patient medical information about which tests were ordered, lab results, and diagnostics were not compromised. American Medical stated that they do not store Social Security numbers or health insurance information for LabCorp customers.
Am I Affected by the LabCorp Hack?
Both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics maintain that American Medical Collection Agency has not told them which patients are affected by the data breach. Quest reported that the company was first informed about the hack on May 14, but that American Medical did not disclose the extent of the compromise, with the number of patients affected and what type was taken, until two weeks later.
What Is LabCorp?
LabCorp is a S&P 500 clinical laboratory company headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina. Many doctors and healthcare providers send their patients to LabCorp when they need blood testing or other diagnostic procedures. LabCorp labs process over 2.5 million lab tests every week. The company was founded in 1978 as Roche BioMedical. After its merger with National Health Laboratory, it became known as Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, or more commonly, LabCorp. 
What is American Medical Collection Agency?
American Medical Collection Agency is a medical billing collections company founded in 1977 and based in Elmsford, NY. The company handles over one billion US dollars annual receivables. American Medical handles collections for clinical laboratories, hospitals, physicians, as well as other medical providers.
On June 4, LabCorp notified the SEC that American Medical Collection Agency, a company LabCorp uses to collect past due accounts had been hacked over a nine-month period. American Medical Collection Agency is in the process of sending notices to about 200,000 LabCorp customers whose credit card or bank account information may have been hacked. However, this is far below the 7.7 million LabCorp customer who are reported to be affected and does not include the Quest Diagnostics customers.
American Medical Collection Agency has not provided a list of patient names that were hacked to anyone including the public or the SEC. It is expected that the number hacked will grow as other American Medical customers are informed. American Medical announced that it will provide 24 months of credit monitoring to anyone who had a social security number or credit card account compromised. American Medical stated that they do not store Social Security numbers for LabCorp customers.
If you were a LabCorp patient, you may want to:
- Monitor all credit cards and bank accounts closely
- Monitor your credit score. Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus -– Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – each year. Order a credit report and look for any new accounts that may have been opened using your name
- Activate a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert lets credit reporting agencies know you may have been a victim of identity theft. When it is activated, credit issuers and banks know that they must do more to verify your identity before opening new accounts
- A more extreme action is to place a credit freeze. This will stop anyone, including you, from opening a line of credit in your name until the freeze is removed. Note that a credit freeze does not prevent changes to already existing credit accounts. For example, a hacker could increase your available credit
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers