Following a data breach affecting at least 4.5 million patients nationwide, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is encouraging all Ohio residents who were referred to or received services from physicians affiliated with Community Health Systems, Inc. in the last five years to review their credit reports and accounts for possible unauthorized activity. 

Tens of thousands of Ohioans may have been affected by the breach. Affected individuals can take advantage of one year of free credit monitoring, which CHS is offering. 

"We encourage Ohioans to check their mail for information about this breach," Attorney General DeWine said. "Affected individuals should be receiving a letter, if they haven't already, and they should follow the instructions in that letter. Ohioans also can contact my office for information about data breaches and identity theft."

On August 19, 2014, Community Health Systems publicly reported a data breach affecting at least 4.5 million patients nationwide. CHS confirmed that its computer network was the target of an external criminal cyber-attack in April and June of 2014. Hackers gained access to patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and social security numbers in the attack. 

The company has said that to the best of their knowledge, the stolen data did not include any patient credit card, medical or clinical information. CHS has indicated that the data breach occurred in physician practices affiliated with the company and not its hospitals. 

CHS recently sent letters to individuals whose information was taken in this cyber-attack, informing them about the data breach and how to enroll in free identity theft and credit monitoring services. Consumers with questions or concerns about this attack are encouraged to call 1-855-205-6951 for more information.