The University of Florida is notifying at least 14,339 patients of the UF&Shands Family Medicine at Main clinic in Gainesville after a clinic employee was found to have ties to an identity theft ring.

State and federal law enforcement agencies allege the employee with acquiring insurance information that includes patient names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, and may have sold some of the information, according to a notice from the university. The employee has been terminated and may face criminal charges.

The university has been unable to track down current addresses for 450 patients. In the notice, it asks patients treated at the clinic from March 2009 to October 2012 who do not receive a notification letter to contact a call center.

The breach of protected health information apparently is the latest twist in an identity theft ring that has hit several provider organizations in Florida. The university learned of the breach on Oct. 25, 2012, but delayed notification at the request of law enforcement until the investigation was complete. The university is offering fraud resolution services for one year for patients who suspect or confirm identity theft associated with the breach.

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