Holy Cross Hospital patient records breached, possible tax scam

Holy Cross Hospital notified 9,900 of its patients that their personal information might have been breached by an employee who may have intended to commit tax fraud.

Patient names, dates of birth, addresses and social security numbers were inappropriately accessed by an employee who has since been terminated, the nonprofit hospital said. This occurred between November 2011 and August 2013.

“The hospital’s investigation indicated that the employee may have intended to utilize the information in filing fraudulent tax returns,” the hospital stated in a news release. “The employee was terminated, and efforts are underway to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent possible.”

The patients will be offered free credit monitoring services.

Identity theft from health care providers has been near epidemic levels in South Florida, as covered by a Business Journal feature story in April. More than 1.4 million patient records in South Florida have been impacted since 2009, according to federal records. Often, these records are stolen by people looking to commit identity theft or make fraudulent tax refund filings.

Federal records show that the last breach at Holy Cross Hospital occurred in 2010 and involved 1,500 patient records.

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