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June 11th, 2008

University Of Utah Hospitals & Clinics Stolen Backup Tape Contained 2.2 Million Billing Records

The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics announced today about the recent theft of billing records. A metal box containing backup tapes, which contained billing records for approximately 2.2 million patients and guarantors, was stolen on Monday, June 2, from a car belonging to a driver who worked for an independent storage company contracted by the health-care system.

The driver discovered that someone had broken into his Ford Explorer outside his Kearns home and taken the box. The driver, who worked for Perpetual Storage Inc. for 18 years, was fired due to violation of protocols his company established to ensure secure data transportation. The company contracted by the university to transport and store the tapes, Perpetual Storage Inc., said this is the first and only such incident in its 40-year history.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service are investigating the theft. The investigation indicates that the theft was probably a random car burglary, and there is no evidence that the information on the tapes has been accessed or used for identity theft. The billing records included patient names, related demographic information and diagnostic codes.  None of the records contained credit card information. Records for a subset of 1.3 million patients also contained Social Security numbers.

The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics has suspended deliveries of backup tapes to Perpetual Storage pending the review of all procedures and protocols for transporting and storing backup data. Additionally, the health-care system mailed notification letters to all 2.2 million patients and guarantors. Free credit monitoring and restoration service to be provided to patients whose records included Social Security numbers. Toll-free information line number for questions is 1-866-581-3599

The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the tapes, no questions asked.  Those wishing to claim the reward may call the Sheriff’s Department at (801) 743-7000.

More information and resources can be found at

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