Raleigh, N.C. — State officials said Friday that patient payment information has been removed from a searchable database open to public inspection, where it had inadvertently been posted for several years.
The NC OpenBook website was created by former Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2009 to increase transparency of payments made through the state's accounting system. Officials in Gov. Pat McCrory's administration said they recently discovered that information regarding payments made from state hospital accounts had been posted on NC OpenBook, including payments made on behalf of clients or to clients.
The information listed on NC OpenBook included the person's name, address, date of payment, dollar amount paid and the name of the facility that made the payment. No account numbers or other identifying information was released, officials said.
The state Department of Health and Human Services has sent letters to all patients whose payments were included in the database to explain the situation and provide information about protecting themselves from identity theft. Officials said they aren't aware of any misuse of the information from the database.
DHHS, the Office of State Budget and Management and the Office of the State Controller have changed their procedures to ensure similar information isn't posted online again, officials said.
Anyone with questions can call DHHS at 1-800-662-7030.