Hospital employee fired and facing criminal charges for accessing data

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An employee of Florida-based Holy Cross Hospital has been fired and faces criminal charges after accessing personal information on thousands of patients with intent to file fraudulent tax returns.

How many victims? 9,900 patients.

What type of personal information? Names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers were among the information.

What happened? A hospital employee was discovered to be inappropriately accessing patient records. 

What was the response? The hospital opened an investigation. The employee was fired and the hospital is pressing criminal charges. Letters have been sent to all patients whose files may have been accessed by the employee. Affected patients are being offered one free year of credit monitoring services.

Details: The former employee had been accessing the information, appropriately and inappropriately, from November 2011 to August 2013. An investigation opened by the hospital revealed that the employee may have wanted to use the information to file fraudulent tax returns.

Quote: “The employee was terminated, and efforts are underway to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent possible,” a hospital spokesperson said. “Holy Cross Hospital takes this issue very seriously. Although evidence does not indicate that the patient information was used for other forms of identity theft and fraud, all patients affected by this incident have been notified by mail and are being offered free credit monitoring services.”

Source: nbcmiami.com, NBC 6 South Florida, “Holy Cross Hospital Warns Patients of Data Breach,” Sept. 25, 2013.

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