Allscripts Hit with Class-Action Complaint Following Ransomware Attack

Jan. 26, 2018
It was just last week when EHR vendor Allscripts suffered a ransomware attack that impacted some of its services. Now, the company is being hit with a class-action complaint from one of the providers that was affected.

It was just last week when electronic health record (EHR) vendor Allscripts suffered a ransomware attack that impacted some of its services. Now, the company is being hit with a class-action complaint from one of the providers that was affected.

The ransomware attack, which struck in the very early morning on Jan. 18, impacted some applications that were hosted at the vendor’s data centers in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. The company said that the outages affected roughly 1,500 clients across the country; Allscripts’ systems in total are said to serve some 180,000 physicians and 2,500 hospitals.

Media reports noted last week that the company’s Professional EHR platform and its e-prescribing systems were hit the hardest by the attack. The type of ransomware used in the attack—SamSam ransomware— was the same one used in an attack on Hancock Health, a health system based in Greenfield, Indiana, earlier this month, as well as in the infamous attack on the 10-hospital, Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health integrated health system in March 2016.

In an emailed statement on Friday, Jan. 26, an Allscripts spokesperson confirmed that “service to all affected clients has been restored.”

Nonetheless, several providers took to Twitter and elsewhere, making it known that the impact on their organizations might have been worse than what Allscripts described in its original company statement on the incident.

One provider, Boynton, Beach, Fla.-based Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics, which specializes in sports medicine and pain, has filed a class-action complaint against the EHR vendor, which stated that due to the attack, the practice “could not access its patients’ records or electronically prescribe medications, forcing [it] to cancel appointments, thereby causing significant business interruption and disruption, and lost revenues.” What’s more, the practice said that it has “expended significant time and effort resolving these issues resulting from the breach, including communicating with patients to reschedule appointments.”

The complaint, which was filed in a Northern Illinois District Court, and which was first obtained by Fierce Healthcare, noted that Chicago-based Allscripts stated in a recent 10-K filing that “If our security is breached, we could be subject to liability, and clients could be deterred from using our products and services.”

In the “damages” section of the complaint, Surfside alleged that as “a direct and proximate result of Allscripts’ wrongful acts and omissions,” it “suffered, and continue to suffer, economic damage and other actual harm.” It went on to allege that “Allscripts failed to implement appropriate processes that could have prevented or minimized the effects of the SamSam ransomware attack.”

The practice said it would not have purchased Allscripts’ products and/or software had it known that the company “did not take all necessary precautions to protect itself from cyberattack, including ransomware attacks.”

With a health IT-generated revenue of $1.3 billion in 2016, Allscripts ranked 13th in the 2017 Healthcare Informatics 100, a list of the 100 vendors with the highest revenues derived from healthcare IT products and services earned in the U.S.

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