Forensic investigation firm assessing recent cybersecurity incident at Capital Health

Cyberattacks on hospitals and health systems have risen across the country over the years

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Capital Health is back to providing all of its services.

Early in the week of Dec. 2, the health system that includes Regional Medical Center in Trenton and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell was experiencing network outages due to a cybersecurity incident.

“Capital Health is no longer experiencing network outages at this time,” said Kate Stier, spokesperson for Capital Health.

The incident at the time had Capital Health operating with limitations such as changes to elective surgical and procedure schedules and outpatient radiology not being available for a period of time.

During the outages, hospital emergency rooms remained open and continued to provide treatment and inpatient services, along with Capital Health Medical Group practices, and LIFE and CARES.

There is no information yet on whether the cybersecurity incident exposed patient, employees or financial data.

Capital Health has been working with a forensic investigation firm to assess the risk to the data and continues to do so, according to Stier.

Capital Health was not the only health system in New Jersey hit by a cybersecurity attack in late November.

Hackensack Meridan had two hospitals – Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood and Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair – divert patients from their emergency rooms when the hospitals were hit.

Cyberattacks on hospitals and health systems have risen across the country over the years and continue to do so.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, from 2018-2022 there has been a 93% increase in large breaches reported to the Office for Civil Rights. There is a 278% increase in large breaches involving ransomware.

Additionally, a report and research that was published by the Journal of American Medical Association states that the number of American hospitals hit with cyberattacks more than doubled from 2016 through 2021.

Those attacks increased from 43 to 91 during that period and exposed the personal health information of 42 million patients.