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Medical records of 1,216 patients at Upstate University Hospital breached

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. (CNYCentral File Photo)

A former Upstate University Hospital employee accessed the records 1,216 of patients without a work or job-related reason, according to hospital officials.

Upstate announced that they are contacting the affected patients as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the breach.

According to officials, the incident happened between November 2016 and October 2017. The privacy breach was discovered on Sept. 12, 2018. The employee no longer works at the hospital.

The information that was accessed included:

  • Demographic information including name, age, address, insurer, and hospital medical record number
  • The date(s) patients received care at University Hospital and the services received
  • Diagnosis and other care and treatment information such as problem lists, medication lists, and visit notes.

Upstate confirmed through the investigation that social security numbers, insurance identification numbers, credit card information, or other identifying information were not compromised.

Hospital officials encourage patients affected by this incident to be alert to suspicious activity. For example, patients could be contacted by someone who has this information and attempts to obtain additional information that could be used for identity theft.

Upstate says they provide employees with in-depth training regarding the privacy and security of patient information and the safeguards established to protect such information. Officials say safeguards have been strengthened to prevent this incident from happening again.

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