, ,

UW Alerts Patients About Privacy Lapse

Information About Family Planning, Medication Mailed By Postcard, Not Sealed Envelope

David Goldman/AP Photo

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is alerting some patients that personal information was sent through the mail where it could be seen by others.

A survey about family planning services was sent to 1,000 patients by postcard. The information sent by UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health contained names and mailing addresses along with prescription medications, says UW Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Brunette.

“The original communication to the recipients was in a sealed envelope; this was a follow up that was not placed within an envelope and it should have been in order to protect the information about the medications and about medical services,” Brunette said.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

UW has alerted patients and established a call center to answer questions.

Federal law protects the privacy and security of health information through what’s called HIPPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Those who believe they may be affected but who have not received a letter by Friday, Sept. 15 should call 1-800-939-4170, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.