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Akumin postpones scans and other diagnostic procedures following ransomware attack

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | October 25, 2023
Cyber Security Health IT
Akumin was hit by a cyberattack on October 11 and shut down its computer system in response.
A ransomware attack earlier this month has led outpatient radiology and oncology company Akumin to shut down its computer system and left it unable to perform or interpret scans at its fixed-site locations.

In a regulatory filing submitted on October 16, the company, which serves about 1,000 hospitals and health systems in 48 states, said it noticed suspicious activity on its network. It found that it had been hit by an attack on October 11 and immediately shut down its computer network. It was able to resume "treating some patients" on October 13, it said and has since restored certain operations, including all oncology services.

Akumin is based in Plantation, Florida, and provides diagnostic imaging services for a network of providers across the U.S. and Canada, including MR, CT, X-ray, ultrasound, bone density testing, mammography, nuclear medicine, and interventional radiology. Until it can restore its system safely and securely, it has postponed most of its clinical and diagnostics operations.

"We have implemented a series of workarounds and manual processes for which our staff are well trained to support our patients and health partners and minimize disruptions in order to ensure continuity of care for all patients. We are working closely with our business partners and third-party specialists to safely resume business activities," Jeffrey White, director of corporate development and investor relations, told HCB News.

Akumin says that it has initiated an investigation into the attack, notified law enforcement, and is working with a cybersecurity counsel to resolve the matter. It also has notified hospital partners who may have been affected and will continue to inform third parties and individuals who have also potentially been affected.

According to local news station WPTV, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, patients have expressed concern that their medical or personal data may have been compromised by the attack, as well as about not being able to be screened.

The company was unable to provide an estimated timeline for the restoration of all services.

It says that patients with immediate medical concerns should contact their healthcare provider directly.

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