AHMC Healthcare Inc. in Alhambra, Calif., has suffered a huge data breach and is notifying about 729,000 patients across its six hospitals after two unencrypted laptop computers were stolen in a burglary at an administrative office.

The theft occurred on October 12 in a video-monitored office on a campus that is gated and patrolled by security, according to the organization. The theft was discovered on October 14. About 10 percent of affected patients with Medicare coverage had Social Security numbers on the laptops as the SSN is part of the Medicare ID number, according to a spokesperson. Other compromised information included patient names, insurance numbers, diagnosis and procedure codes, and insurance/patient payment details.

The spokesperson did not respond to a question on whether AHMC Healthcare is offering any affected patients paid credit and/or identity protection services. The public notice does not offer such services, but advises patients to place fraud alerts on their credit file and order credit reports from credit reporting agencies.

AHMC Healthcare has contracted with a third-party auditing company to perform a security risk assessment and will expedite a policy of encrypting all laptops.

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