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  • Information on 4.5 Million Patients Stolen in Largest Recorded Health Care Cyber-Attack

    The largest recorded cyber-attack on a health care operation has succeeded in stealing information on 4.5 million patients associated with Community Health Systems (CHS), a Tennessee-based company that owns, operates, or leases 206 hospitals in 29 states. Although CHS maintains that the information does not include payment or clinical information, hackers were able to access names, addresses, social security numbers, and other data.

    In an August 18 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CHS reports that hackers successfully accessed confidential files in April and June of 2014 through the use of malware that was able to bypass the company's security systems. According to reports from Reutersand the Chicago Tribune, a Chinese group known as "APT 18" is suspected of conducting the attack. CNN reports that the FBI is working closely with CHS to investigate the theft.

    In addition to names, addresses, and social security numbers, stolen information includes birthdates, telephone numbers, and employer or guarantor information on patients who were treated by or received referrals from CHS-affiliated doctors during past 5 years.

    CHS posted a media notice on its website stating that individuals whose information was taken in this cyber-attack "will be mailed a letter informing them about the data breach and how to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services." The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires companies to notify patients of suspected breaches of health care information.

    Physical Activity Research Opportunities Offered by NIH

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced 2 research funding opportunities aimed at developing and testing approaches to increasing physical activity in ways that might be applied broadly across the US.

    "Developing Interventions for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity" will provide 2 years of support for research into interventions that increase physical activity, while "Testing Interventions for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity" will provide up to 5 years of support for research into how to test multi-level intervention programs. Applications are due October 4 and October 1, respectively.

    APTA Summaries on Acute Care, Long-Term Care, SNF Rules Now Available

    Want to get the latest on Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) final 2015 rules on acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities? APTA has you covered.

    APTA members can now access detailed summaries of the latest set of final rules issued by CMS pertaining to payment and other issues related to physical therapist practice.

    For information on acute care and inpatient rehabilitation, visit the association's Medicare Payment and Policies for Hospital Settings webpage (look for the latest summaries under "Acute Care" and "Inpatient Rehabilitation" headers); for a summary of prospective payment system rules for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), visit the Medicare Payment and Policies for Skilled Nursing Facilities webpage (look for the "APTA Summaries" header).