Patients notified of potential identity theft incident

Patients notified of potential identity theft incident

GAINESVILLE, Fla. ― An employee working at a University of Florida medical clinic who had ties to an identity theft ring may have compromised patient personal and health information.

UF is notifying 14,339 patients of the UF&Shands Family Medicine at Main practice that they should take appropriate measures to protect themselves from identity theft. UF is offering fraud resolution services for those who suspect or confirm identity theft associated with this incident; the fraud service offer is good for one year. UF has been unable to locate current addresses for 450 patients. Anyone who was a patient between March 2009 and October 2012 and does not receive a letter should telephone the UF call center listed below to find out if he or she may be affected.

“We share our patients’ frustration regarding this situation and regret that it happened,” said Susan Blair, chief privacy officer for the University of Florida. “We are committed to serving our patients and helping them get through any problems that arise stemming from this incident.”

The Office of the State Attorney, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Secret Service allege a UF employee acquired patient insurance information, including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, and may have sold some of the information to a third party.

The employee has been terminated and may face criminal charges.

The university learned of the alleged incident from state and federal law enforcement officials on Oct. 25, when an identity theft ring that targeted several hospitals and health clinics in the state of Florida was uncovered. Law enforcement prohibited UF from notifying patients until the criminal investigation was completed.

The letters sent to patients include information about the incident, steps they can take to protect themselves, information about identity monitoring services and steps recommended by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission about checking credit reports. To further help prevent misuse of information, those affected may wish to contact the three major credit agencies and notify them that personal information was inappropriately accessed and misused.

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