Cogent Healthcare, which manages group practices of hospitalists and intensivists working in hospitals across the nation, is notifying about 32,000 patients following a breach of protected health information by a contractor.

The breach affects 25 Cogent physician groups in at least 17 states. Cogent Healthcare learned that M2ComSys, a medical transcription company in India, was not storing protected health information on secure Internet site, and care notes were accessed. “The access to these notes through the site began May 5, 2013, and ended following Cogent Healthcare’s discovery of the lapse on June 24, 2013,” according to a public notice from Cogent. “It involved care notes of approximately 32,000 patients from across the county. We are generally unable to identify who accessed the care notes. In some cases, the care notes were indexed by Google.”

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