[ Tuesday, December 02, 2008 ]
California Snoopin' Update:
The admin employee at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has pleaded guilty
to a state felony count of accessing confidential information for commercial gain. Apparently, she snooped and sold the information she found to tabloid reporters. I say apparently, because the facts she pleaded to are sealed by the court.
I would not expect a HIPAA prosecution in this case, unless there's something more in the pleadings that would warrant going after UCLA-MC itself or its executives; the employee was not a nurse or doctor, so she isn't a covered entity personally. That, coupled with the DOJ memo that employees of a covered entity can't violate HIPAA themselves, and the fact that all other HIPAA criminal prosecutions have been of nurses or similar caregivers, and the fact that the US attorney in LA hasn't been out in front on this, all lead me to that conclusion. I could be wrong, and this would be a good high-profile case exposing a true HIPAA issue (unlike Aunt Edna's gall bladder surgery, medical information on celebrities is something that some people value), but I'll keep my bet.
Jeff [3:11 PM]
Blogger: HIPAA Blog - Edit your Template