Healthcare News & Insights

‘Sorry, we can’t find your bill… wanna pay this guy’s?’

One hospital is learning that sending patients random bills doesn’t go over as well as you might think.

Strong Memorial Hospital, in Rochester, New York, discovered that it had sent out around 1200 medical bills last month — to the wrong patients. The screw-up was discovered when patients started calling the hospital to ask about the errant invoices.

Turns out, an automatic folding machine was on the blink, and started picking up multiple invoices to be stuffed into the preaddressed envelopes. Patients ended up getting their own medical bills, along with a handful of their neighbors’.

Although the invoices included sensitive information useful for identity theft, including Social Security Numbers, insurance policy numbers and (obviously) some medical data, Strong said patients shouldn’t worry because the data is unlikely to be misused.

Cold comfort to anyone whose personal information is floating out there…somewhere.

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