(June 14, 2019) An American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) data breach, which may affect over 20 million people nationwide, should not be a problem for patients of Atlantic General Hospital.

“The breach with AMCA does not affect Atlantic General Hospital or our patients,” director of marketing at Atlantic General Hospital Sarah Yonker said. “We do not have a business agreement or relationship of any kind with AMCA.”

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Information at risk of being compromised include: social security number, credit card number, lab test order, patient name, date of birth, address, phone number, date of service, provider, balance information, bank account information and payment card information.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh issued a press release on Wednesday about the breach and warned Marylanders that their medical and private information might have been compromised.

American Medical Collection Agency is a third-party collection agency for laboratories, hospitals, physicians groups, medical providers and others.

Entities that have also been affected by the breach include Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, BioReference Laboratories, Carecentrix, Sunrise Laboratories and possibly more.

A spokesman at the Berlin LabCorp office said his company was not involved and that the AMCA breach did not affect them.

Further, although AGH does use LabCorp to process certain specimens, AGH does its own billing and is therefore unaffected, Yonker said.

Victims nationwide have filed lawsuits against American Medical Collection Agency, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp for failing to inform clients about the incident in a timely manner, according to a HealthITSecurity article.

American Medical Collection Agency’s payment system was compromised for eight months—from Aug. 1, 2018 to March 30, 2019.

The Gemini Advisory, a dark web data watchdog,  discovered the data breaches on Feb. 28, according to an article written by the group. On March 1, the group attempted to contact the agency several times to alert the victims, but to no avail.

In the end, it was not until the end of May that the agency began notifying its clients.

Information at risk of being compromised include: social security number, credit card number, lab test order, patient name, date of birth, address, phone number, date of service, provider, balance information, bank account information and payment card information.

Consumers who believe that they may have been affected by the breach should follow these steps:

• Obtain a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228

• Put a fraud alert on credit files.

• Consider a security freeze on credit files.

• Take advantage of any free services being offered as a result of the breach.

• Use two-factor authentication on  online accounts whenever available

Frosh warned consumers to review their financial and medical accounts and to report immediately any suspicious or fraudulent activity.

“Massive data breaches like this one experienced by the AMCA are extremely alarming,” Frosh said. “I strongly urge consumers to take steps to ensure that their information and personal identity is protected.”

Victims of the data breach may file a complaint to the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit at 410-576-6491.

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