Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Admits Data Breach

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Tech Texas University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) recently posted a notice on its Web site announcing that an error had occurred on February 18 while processing billing statements for approximately 700 patients, as a result of which patient billing statements were mistakenly sent to other patients' mailing addresses.

The information exposed included patients' names, account numbers, invoice numbers, dates of service, charge amounts, department and provider names, adjustment amounts, payments from insurance companies, amounts due, and total account balances.

A letter has been sent to patients notifying them of the breach and advising them to contact any of the three major credit card bureaus to request credit information or request a credit file fraud alert.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by PHIprivacy.net, TTUHSC states, "You may have received a statement belonging to another individual. To ensure that all patient information is maintained confidential, please return the statement to TTUHSC or destroy the copy."

"We take very seriously our role in safeguarding patient information and ensuring privacy," Mary Croyle, executive director of TTUHSC Communications and Marketing, said in a statement. "We learn from incidents like this and have put into place additional safeguards."

Patients with questions are advised to call (877) 272-0570.