UMC to provide free credit monitoring in privacy leak case

University Medical Center will provide one year of free credit monitoring to more than 100 people whose personal information might have been illegally shared with local lawyers, the hospital announced today.

The county hospital mailed about 140 letters to the group comprised of patients and others who provided information to the hospital trauma unit on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1.

Last month, hospital executives were alerted to accident victims’ personal information being sent to local attorneys, who could use it to solicit business.

Officials suspect at least one employee is behind the scheme, and the FBI was investigating for possible violations of federal medical records privacy laws.

The credit monitoring will be provided by the Experian credit bureau.

To further protect patient records, the hospital now requires employees in patient care areas to enter personal codes into copy machines so photocopies can be tracked and audited. Officials are also considering adding secure doors to prevent unauthorized access to patient information.

Anyone with questions or who has been contacted unsolicited by a law firm can call a UMC hot line at 888-691-0772 or the hospital’s privacy officer, Hope Hammond, at 383-3854.