Data breach may have compromised personal information of Lanett EMS patients

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The company that handles the city of Lanett’s billing for EMS services has notified patients of a data breach that could impact local local residents.

EMSMS, or EMS Management and Consultants, said in a press release Monday that Progress Software Corp.’s MOVEitTransfer Tool was compromised on May 31 and again in June 2023. EMSMS is a user of the TransferTool. 

According to Fire and EMS Chief Johnny Allen, EMSMC contacted the fire department about the breach when IT experts became aware of it. 

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EMSMC hired a third-party data analysis firm to review the data that had been compromised and potentially accessed. Data compromised included patients’ names, dates of transport, social security numbers, dates of birth, encounter/transport numbers and billing codes, according to a press release from EMSMC on behalf of the city of Lanett. 

According to Allen, EMSMC has sent out letters within the last week to the potentially impacted individuals in the city of Lanett. Allen said only one patient has contacted the fire department to inquire after the letter from EMSMC.

Allen said he does not know how many individuals may be impacted.

“The number of people really didn’t affect me. It’s bad enough to even have one,” Allen said. “That’s concerning it in and of itself,” Allen said. “But I’m very, very confident that EMSMC has handled it properly, and I know they handled it swiftly.”

Allen said the company acted swiftly to notify his department of the incident and to investigate and address the issue in IT. Allen said this is the first incident that has occured in the 15 years that Lanett has worked with the company. 

Many cities in the area have worked with the company for years. West Point Mayor Steve Tramell confirmed that West Point also uses EMSMC for its ambulatory services and was notified of a patient data breach. EMSMC sent letters to West Point citizens with guidance for being vigilant against identity theft, according to Tramell.

Allen also encouraged citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and signs of identity theft. 

EMSMS could not be reached for further comment beyond the press release.