[ Thursday, January 08, 2004 ]
More OT (but with a HIPAA angle):
You've probably heard of the Tenet Redding Hospital case, where unnecessary heart surgery procedures were being performed by cardiologists at a Tenet hospital in California, and Tenet paid a big ($54 million) settlement, since it was accused of buying those referrals from the cardiologists. Well, the case came about because of a couple of whistleblowers, who have just been awarded $8.1 million of the settlement amount. Ready for the "movie of the week" angle? The whistleblowers were two Catholic priests, Fr. John Corapi and Fr. Joseph Zerga.
The HIPAA angle
: this can serve as a cautionary tale to covered entities who don't think they need to worry too much about their HIPAA compliance. There is a definite incentive for people who you think are your friends to turn you in to the Feds if there are fines and penalties involved. If you're violating HIPAA to such an extent that you might get hit with monetary penalties, you should consider yourself to have a bounty on your head. Additionally, note that HIPAA prevents a covered entity employer from retaliating against an employee that reports a HIPAA violation. If you're not 100% all square on your HIPAA compliance, expect that any disgruntled, about-to-be-fired employee will report you in an attempt to save their own job.
Jeff [10:54 AM]
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