Monday, November 30, 2009

Patient Information Allegedly Sent to Attorneys’ Offices

Private information about accident victims treated at University Medical Center has apparently been leaking for months, the Sun has learned, allegedly so ambulance-chasing attorneys could mine for clients.

Sources say someone at UMC is selling a compilation of the hospital’s daily registration forms for accident patients. This is confidential information — including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and injuries — that could also be used for identity theft.

Hospital officials knew of rumors of the leaks since the summer, but doubted them until provided evidence Thursday by the Sun. Now they’re scrambling to catch up to a crisis that may affect hundreds, if not thousands, of patients.

Selling ­— or even giving away — such information would violate federal patient-privacy laws and could result in fines and prison time.
MIAOULIS NOTE:  Could this happen at your organization.  Are you reviewing Audit logs of individuals that are viewing electroninc records of emergency room paitents?

UMC risking steep fines over patients' privacy
Because of recent changes in federal law, University Medical Center could face steep fines over allegations of violations of patients' privacy.
One part of the economic stimulus law enacted in February calls for federal agencies to impose fines as high as $1.5 million on medical providers who inadequately protect patients' data.

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