Monday, June 11, 2012

Medical Technician Sold Patient Data for Over a Year

A medical technician in the general surgery department of a D.C. university hospital was charged with selling patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth and Medicare numbers to an outside party. The insider theft of individually identifiable health information went on for 16 months before it was detected and stopped.

Beth Givens of the consumer advocacy group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse told the Washington Times that she was particular concerned that the crime went undetected for well over a year.
"That the illegal sale of personal information could be allowed to go on for that long strikes me as an indication that the internal auditing practices of the hospital were lacking." - Beth Givens, director of the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
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Neither the court nor the hospital provided any information on how much money the medical technician received or what the buyer did with the information.

The medical technician was charged with one count of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. If convicted she faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison because the violation involves selling the information for money.

Sources:
(a) Howard University Hospital worker accused of selling health records - The Washington Times, May 15, 2012

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