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LAFD ambulance riders urged to call IRS after billing breach

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The L.A. Times reports that personal information may have been stolen from more than 900 Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance riders last year.

The IRS is investigating whether an employee of the billing company, Advanced Data Processing Inc., accessed Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information from individuals tranported by LAFD ambulances.

Fire department notification letters warn that patient information was used in a scheme to obtain illegal tax refunds, and that potential victims should contact the IRS and determine if bogus returns were filed in their names, reports The Times.

Twenty-six notification letters have gone out so far and more than 900 people may have been victimized in total, said William Carter, chief deputy to City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.

[...]The city's ambulance billing duties are handled by Advanced Data Processing Inc., which received nearly $6 million from the Fire Department between June 2011 and Oct. 30, according to City Controller Wendy Greuel. 

Federal law protects private medical information, Carter said.

A spokeswoman for the billing company told the newspaper she could not discuss the matter, and a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the incident was being investigated.