UNC Hospitals on Wednesday said 719 patients might be at risk for identity theft after an employee misused their personal information.
The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based system said it mailed letters to affected patients after finding out a now former employee was using patients' demographic and financial information to illegally obtain goods and services.
UNC Hospitals learned of the misconduct Sept. 10, and its police department has launched a criminal investigation, the system said.
"UNC Hospitals regrets any concern or inconvenience this incident may cause. In response to this incident, they have taken action in accordance with policy and reviewed the payment process to ensure internal controls are effective and appropriate," the system said in a news release.
While employed at UNC Hospitals, the employee in question managed payments from patients and had access to patient demographic information, including Social Security numbers and copies of driver's licenses and insurance cards, the system said.
In letters sent to patients, the system explains what happened and offers patients a free year of credit monitoring, UNC Hospitals said.