- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:

August 23

Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee, on hacking being bad for health:

When you are sick or injured, the security of your personal information probably is not top of mind, so it adds a distressing dimension to the news that hackers were able to bypass security measures for Community Health Systems Inc., potentially affecting 4.5 million patients.

Franklin-based CHS is the nation’s largest hospital company in terms of number of hospitals, with 206 nationally and 19 in Tennessee. Unfortunately, CHS is added to the list of large companies that have experienced major data breaches in the past couple of years.

While CHS’ breach is nowhere near the scope of Target’s in 2013 (110 million records exposed), it is easy to see how it could be more keenly felt by the affected patients. CHS said the data exposed in the breach was non-medical; however, it did include names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers - pretty much everything needed to set up phony credit cards in those patients’ names.

And then there is the likelihood that many of the patients are experiencing health issues that already are a drain on their time and resources, so now is not the best time for them to individually confront an identity theft threat.

Community Health Systems, to its credit, has been working with the cybersecurity firm Mandiant since the hacker broke into the system in April and June of this year. CHS is providing protection services to the affected patients, but as was learned in the Target breach and other massive cases, the burden is really going to fall on the shoulders of those customers. They will need to keep a close watch on their credit reports, monitor unusual emails and possibly change their routines when it comes to how they share further information with third parties.

The bottom line here is not surprising, but it bears reinforcing: You, the patient, must be ever vigilant. It is one thing to trust your doctor on matters relating to your medical condition, but another when it comes to the safety of vital information the doctor and other health providers demand.

Online:

http://www.tennessean.com

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August 21

The Post-Intelligencer, Paris, Tennessee, on ACT score numbers:

Statistical analysis - figuring out what numbers mean - is a tricky business. That’s especially true when it comes to reporting on school children’s test scores.

Story Continues →