Florida Hospital Records Sold as Scrap Paper to Utah Surplus Store

SALT LAKE CITY – Twenty-eight Central Florida Regional Hospital patients had their medical records sold at a Salt Lake City surplus store for around $20 in February.

Per the Deseret Morning News, a local teacher in the Salt Lake area found the records as she was looking for scrap paper for her fourth-grade class.

The records contained detailed information of each patient, including medical histories, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses and insurance information. Several patients whose information was sold are deceased.

Officials are blaming the error on a shipping mishap. Kelly Ferrell, risk manager for Central Florida Regional, said three boxes were shipped to a Las Vegas company in December for a Medicare audit. When one of the boxes was reported missing in Phoenix, hospital officials began tracking the box; however, officials failed to contact the affected patients, she said.

The hospital used UPS to certify and ship the packages. On Feb. 4, a Las Vegas auditor contacted hospital officials about the missing box, who then contacted UPS two weeks later.

A UPS spokesperson said the company keeps packages for at least three months before liquidating them. In this case, UPS sold the papers containing information because the shipping company could not find its owner and therefore could not deliver it.

The records were sold as scrap paper at National Product Sales.

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