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NC DHHS mistakenly posts patient info on website

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says the state inadvertently posted personal information about mental and medical patients on a public website, in some cases for years.

The agency issued a statement Friday disclosing that information for more than 1,300 people receiving payments from state hospitals had been posted on NC OpenBook. The website was launched in 2009 to provide transparency for payments made to government vendors and contractors.

The improperly disclosed information included patient names, addresses, payment date, dollar amount and the name of the facility making the payment. Federal law mandates that such data be kept confidential.

DHHS spokesman Ricky Diaz says officials learned of the breach after an individual complained. The agency will issue letters to notify those whose personal information was improperly disclosed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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