South Carolina hospital billing error mixed up addresses for 12,636 patients

Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial inadvertently mailed patient letters that enclosed the wrong patients' information, according to a statement from the hospital.

Four details:

1. On Aug. 1, the hospital mailed thousands of patient letters and discovered two days later that the names and financial account numbers in the letters didn't match the delivery addresses.

2. The letters didn't contain any other sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, credit card information or bank account information.

3. Many of the letters were returned by the U.S. Postal Service because the name on the envelope didn't match the registered address. The returned letters were shredded and securely disposed of.

4. The hospital notified 12,636 affected patients about the error.

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