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667 Southwestern Eye Center patients sent refund checks with wrong name — 5 details

Refund checks mailed to 667 patients on behalf of Mesa, Ariz.-based Southwestern Eye Center were made out to the wrong people, the center reported.

1. The refund checks mailed to patients April 17 did not expose any personal, health, financial or billing data aside from patient names. Southwestern Eye Center said the incident doesn't put patients at risk of identity theft.

2. After an investigation, the practice determined a vendor's administrative processing error caused the incident.

3. Southwestern Eye Center asked recipients to destroy the checks and reported the incident to HHS' Office for Civil Rights breach portal Aug. 1.

4. The practice published a security incident notice on its website. "We take our role of safeguarding patients' personal information very seriously. Accordingly, we have implemented measures to prevent this type of incident from occurring again, including providing training and additional quality control in our mailing processes and oversight over vendors," the statement said.

5. Southwestern Eye Center ophthalmologists travel to outlying offices and ASCs to see patients unable to travel. The practice also features ASCs at several of its metro locations.

Southwestern Eye Center could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

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