Quest Diagnostics, the world’s largest blood-testing company, said Monday that nearly 12 million patients may have had personal information exposed in a data breach.
The information includes financial data, Social Security numbers and medical records, though the company said laboratory test results were not exposed.
The breach happened through a contractor of a contractor. Quest outsources its billing collections to Optum360, which in turn used American Medical Collection Agency for such services.
AMCA told Quest on May 14 that it suffered a possible incident, but it’s unclear exactly when a hack might have occurred. Quest said it doesn’t have “detailed or complete information about the AMCA data security incident, including which information of which individuals may have been affected.”
Quest also said it hasn’t been able to verify the accuracy of the information received from AMCA. Quest said that it hasn’t used AMCA for collections since it learned of the incident and that it is “working with forensic experts to investigate the matter.”
Quest gave us the following statement:
American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), a billing collections service provider, has informed Quest Diagnostics that an unauthorized user had access to AMCA’s system containing personal information AMCA received from various entities, including from Quest. AMCA provides billing collections services to Optum360, which in turn is a Quest contractor. Quest and Optum360 are working with forensic experts to investigate the matter.
AMCA first notified Quest and Optum360 on May 14, 2019 of potential unauthorized activity on AMCA’s web payment page. On May 31, 2019, AMCA notified Quest and Optum360 that the data on AMCA’s affected system included information regarding approximately 11.9 million Quest patients. AMCA believes this information includes personal information, including certain financial data, Social Security numbers, and medical information, but not laboratory test results.
AMCA has not yet provided Quest or Optum360 detailed or complete information about the AMCA data security incident, including which information of which individuals may have been affected. And Quest has not been able to verify the accuracy of the information received from AMCA.
Quest is taking this matter very seriously and is committed to the privacy and security of our patients’ personal information. Since learning of the AMCA data security incident, we have suspended sending collection requests to AMCA.
Quest will be working with Optum360 to ensure that Quest patients are appropriately notified consistent with the law.
We are committed to keeping our patients, health care providers, and all relevant parties informed as we learn more.