Community Mercy Health Partners, operator of the Springfield Regional Medical Center, has alerted patients to a data breach that occurred in February.
Invoices for about 2,000 patients containing names, addresses, billing codes such as diagnosis and procedural codes, service dates and locations, and account balances were inadvertently sent to incorrect people.
Six individuals may have received invoices intended for another entity such as a health care provider, CMHP spokesman Dave Lamb said.
No social security numbers or other personal financial information were exposed, he said, and the company is contacting each affected patient individually.
There is no indication that the information on the invoices has been misused in any way.
CMHP became aware of the error Feb. 26 and launched an extensive investigation.
“We take seriously the privacy and confidentiality of our patients’ and employees’ information,” Lamb said. “Upon learning of this incident, we immediately conducted a full investigation to determine what happened, who was affected and what we can do to prevent it from occurring in the future.”
The company determined the breach occurred because of an inadvertent change to name and address information on some patients’ bills during data entry.
“To help prevent this from recurring, CMHP has provided additional education to its data entry staff and is working with its information technology team to enhance technical safeguards for documentation in the guarantor field for patient accounts,” Lamb said.
The company is sending letters to all affected patients and has established a dedicated call center to answer patient questions.
The call center number is 1-844-830-3284.
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