Patients Notified of Privacy Incident at UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Burlington, NC

Affecting Patients Seen by the “Burlington Dermatology Center” through September 2015.

Media contact: 
Phil Bridges 919-457-6347
phil.bridges@unchealth.unc.edu

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – December 8, 2017 – UNC Dermatology, a practice of UNC Faculty Physicians, has begun notifying approximately 24,000 patients of the UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center at 1522 Vaughn Road in Burlington, North Carolina of a privacy incident which occurred there in October.

On October 8, 2017, a break-in occurred at the UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, resulting in the theft of a computer which contained information on patients of the former “Burlington Dermatology Center” or “Burlington Dermatology.”

UNC Health Care acquired the practice assets of Burlington Dermatology in 2015. As part of this transaction, a computer containing patient information of patients seen at Burlington Dermatology remained onsite at the practice. This was the computer which was stolen, and UNC Health Care has reason to believe that the stolen computer contained information about patients seen at Burlington Dermatology through September 2015.

The information in question was part of a password-protected database that included patient names, addresses and phone numbers as well as employment status, employer names, patient birthdates and patient social security numbers. It is not believed that any treatment, diagnosis or prescription records were kept on the computer other than diagnosis codes used for billing purposes. 

Should patients wish to take steps to review and monitor their credit, they can place a fraud alert on their credit report by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus.

In an effort to protect patients from identity theft, patients are being offered credit monitoring protection services free of charge for a period of one year. 

“UNC Health Care is committed to providing patients with superior health care services and takes its obligation to protect the privacy of patients’ medical information very seriously,” said David Behinfar, Chief Privacy Officer, UNC Health Care.  “We have ensured that all remaining computers acquired from, or kept for use by Burlington Dermatology have been properly secured.  UNC Health Care has also implemented process improvements to ensure that future acquisitions of physician practices include a process to properly secure legacy computers and electronic patient information.”

“We want patients to know that UNC Health Care and the UNC Dermatology Center take their obligation to protect patient privacy very seriously,” Behinfar continued.  “We are truly sorry that this incident occurred and sincerely apologize for any concerns it may cause.” 

Should patients have questions or wish to discuss this further, they are encouraged to contact our toll free information line at (888) 356-0275 weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

About UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system comprised of UNC Hospitals and its provider network, UNC Faculty Physicians, UNC Physicians Network, the clinical patient care programs of the UNC School of Medicine and nine other hospitals and hospital systems across the state. Additional hospital entities include UNC Rex Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, Pardee Hospital, High Point Regional Health, Caldwell Memorial, Nash Health Care, Wayne Memorial and UNC Lenoir Health Care.

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