Business

Texas Health improperly mails bills, data as about 82,000 patients were affected

A major nonprofit healthcare system on Tuesday said that a billing error led to information about some of its patients across North Texas to be improperly mailed.

Texas Health Resources said information was “matched with and sent to the incorrect guarantor,” which is often a health insurance policy’s primary holder.

Texas Health spokesman Stephen O’Brien said late Tuesday that about 82,000 patients had been affected.

The information sent to errant recipients included patient names, account numbers, service dates, the names of treating physicians, names of health insurers, amounts owed and, in some cases, short service descriptions.

Texas Health said it learned on Aug. 23 that a “misconfiguration” in its billing system led to the error at its wholly owned hospitals and at four joint ventures. The healthcare system said it was mailing letters to people whose information may have been routed improperly.

Most of the patients affected by the error had a procedure or services performed at Texas Health between about July 19 and Sept. 4.

No patient Social Security numbers, health insurance identification numbers or financial information were disclosed, Texas Health said.

The healthcare system said it was taking steps to improve its data security procedures and would correct the error that led to Tuesday’s disclosure.

There had been no indication that information had been misused, Texas Health said.

Texas Health released a list of the facilities that were affected: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst Euless Bedford, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Kaufman, Texas Health Specialty Hospital Fort Worth, and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

There were also four Texas Health joint ventures affected: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall, Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery Plano, Texas Health Heart and Vascular Hospital Arlington and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Emerson Clarridge covers crime and other breaking news for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He works evenings and reports on law enforcement affairs in Tarrant County. He previously was a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York.
  Comments