Murfreesboro Medical Clinic Closes for Nearly 2 Weeks After Data Breach
Some of its seven locations remain closed after an April 22 cyberattack forced the healthcare provider offline.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter closed for nearly two weeks after a cyberattack forced the provider offline.
MMC shut down all operations after the April 22 incident, reports The HIPAA Journal. Third-party cybersecurity experts and law enforcement assisted with the investigation and recovery. MCC said the quick action taken in response to the data breach limited the damage caused.
“They would hit us, and we would try to hit them back,” said MMC CEO Joey Peay. “We thought we were in pretty good shape and then Sunday morning things changed again. That is what necessitated us closing. We weren’t going to be able to continue to fend off the serious nature of these attacks with our clinic open, our physicians and staff trying to work. It just wasn’t going to be doable.”
MCC, which has 130 healthcare providers at seven locations, planned to reopen on a limited basis by May 3. However, the recovery process took longer than anticipated. The MCC Pediatric and Internal & Family Walk-In Clinics at its Garrison Drive location reopened on May 4 but all other locations remained closed. On May 5, all surgeries in its SurgiCenter, as well as gastroenterology procedures and laboratory and radiology services, were canceled. MCC resumed sick visit services at some of its walk-in clinics but still canceled most well-care visits, as well as surgeries and laboratory and radiology services.
Then, on May 6 and 7, MMC Pediatrics resumed normal weekend operations but MMC Now Family Walk-In Clinics and laboratory and radiology services remained closed. On May 8, operations remained limited but some scheduled appointments went ahead as planned. By May 9, most surgeries and gastroenterology procedures in the MMC SurgiCenter resumed as normally scheduled. The MMC Now Family Walk-In Clinic at the South Church Street location and the MMC Now Family Walk-In Clinic at the South Church Street location opened Tuesday as well. All other MMC Now locations were still closed as of May 10.
The organization has not yet confirmed whether any specific patient, employee, or corporate data was accessed or removed from the network, according to SC Magazine.
“Preserving sensitive patient and employee information is of the utmost importance to MMC, but like so many other organizations around the country and despite its best efforts, MMC has found itself as the target of criminals attempting to steal personal or company data,” he said. “We have worked diligently to communicate closures with all patients in a timely manner using all methods of communication at our disposal… we apologize for the vagueness of our recent communications, but we did not want to do anything that would impede law enforcement’s investigative efforts.”
Peay confirmed MMC does not store credit card or bank account information within its network. He also urged patients and employees to monitor their personal data for any misuse.
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