OCR opened an investigation after receiving a complaint from a retiring physician alleging that Parkview had violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule. In September 2008, Parkview took custody of medical records pertaining to approximately 5,000 to 8,000 patients while assisting the retiring physician to transition her patients to new providers, and while considering the possibility of purchasing some of the physician's practice. On June 4, 2009, Parkview employees, with notice that the physician was not at home, left 71 cardboard boxes of these medical records unattended and accessible to unauthorized persons on the driveway of the physician's home, within 20 feet of the public road and a short distance away from a heavily trafficked public shopping venue.
As a covered entity under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Parkview must appropriately and reasonably safeguard all protected health information in its possession, from the time it is acquired through its disposition.
Parkview cooperated with OCR throughout its investigation. In addition to the $800,000 resolution amount, the settlement includes a corrective action plan requiring Parkview to revise their policies and procedures, train staff, and provide an implementation report to OCR.
OCR offers helpful FAQs concerning HIPAA and the disposal of protected health information: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/
To learn more about non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, your civil rights, and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on filing a complaint, visit us athttp://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office.
The Resolution Agreement can be found on the OCR website at:http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/