Michigan medical practice to close after refusing to pay ransom to hackers

By Jackie Drees for Becker’s Hospital Review

Battle Creek, Mich.-based Brookside ENT and Hearing Center is shutting down after cyber hackers deleted all the practice’s patient records, WWMT, a CBS affiliate, reports.

Hackers obtained no patient information because the practice’s EHR system encrypted the files, John Bizon, MD, co-founder of Brookside ENT and Hearing Center, told WWMT.

Hackers infected the medical center’s records system with ransomware and demanded co-founders Dr. Bizon and William Scalf, MD, pay $6,500 to buy back access to the medical files, according to the report. Drs. Scalf and Bizon chose not to pay the ransom, and hackers erased all the system’s files, including patient information and appointment schedules.

Drs. Scalf and Bizon have decided to retire early as a result of the cyberattack. The medical practice plans to close April 30, and the staff is currently providing referrals and working to answer patient questions.

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