Eye stock

Demographic information for more than 20,000 patients could have been accessed after Utah Valley Eye Center was hacked last year, according to the center.

The Provo business’s portal was hacked on June 18, 2018, and an email was sent to 5,764 patients disguised as a notification from PayPal telling the patients they had received a payment, according to a press release.

The eye center immediately sent an email to patients who had received the PayPal email after learning its system had been hacked, according to the release. The center believes only emails were accessed, but that patient names, addresses, birth dates and phone numbers could have been seen.

“However, there is absolutely no evidence that any personal health or financial information was taken or accessed,” the press release, signed by Michael Clayton, the center’s administrator, reads.

The center has taken additional steps to secure the systems, which is mainly used for scheduling reminders. Those include updating internal policies and procedures and reporting the incident to the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Department of Human Services.

The Utah Valley Eye Center also suggests placing a fraud alert on patients’ credit files to protect themselves from identity theft as a precaution.

“At Utah Valley Eye Center, we are committed to providing you with top-notch healthcare services, including the protection of your health information,” Clayton wrote in the release.

Braley Dodson covers health and education for the Daily Herald.

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