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Billing records of 2.2 million stolen

The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics said Tuesday that a metal box of backup tapes containing billing records for about 2.2 million patients and guarantors was stolen from a car belonging to a storage contractor’s employee.

The driver for Perpetual Storage violated the storage company’s policies for secure data transport, officials said. The theft, which occurred June 2, is under investigation by the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service. The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics is offering a $1,000 reward for return of the tapes.

The billing records included patient names, demographic information and diagnostic codes. Records for a subset of 1.3 million patients also contained Social Security numbers.

Although officials said there is no evidence that the data on the tapes has been accessed, the health care system is notifying the affected individuals, providing them with credit monitoring, and taking additional steps to safeguard its records. It also suspended deliveries of backup tapes to Perpetual Storage pending a review of procedures.

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