Ex-Florida Hospital Employee Faces Federal Charges For Accessing More Than 700,000 Patient Records

Monday, September 10, 2012

By: Lance O. Leider, J.D., and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Federal court records from August 13, 2012, show that a former Florida Hospital employee faces fraud-conspiracy charges after he illegally accessed patient records in a solicitation scheme, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The breach in patient information was first thought to involve 2,000 patients, but according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) affidavit, more than 700,000 patient records were accessed between 2009 and 2011.

When the news broke about a privacy breach at Florida Hospital back in October of 2011, we wrote about this incident. To read that blog, click here.


Florida Hospital Clerical Worker Behind the Scheme.

Hospital records show a clerical worker in the emergency department of Florida Hospital’s Celebration location was fired in July 2011. According to the Orlando Sentinel, he was allegedly fired when it was discovered that he had accessed the medical records of a Florida Hospital doctor who was fatally shot in a hospital parking garage.

The FBI affidavit reveals that hospital officials found inappropriate access to 763,000 patient records between 2009 and the third quarter of 2011, by the same worker.

To read the entire FBI affidavit, click here.


Worker was Allegedly Selling Information to Co-Conspirators.

Federal Investigators said the worker was looking specifically for information on car accident victims. He would allegedly sell that information to unnamed co-conspirators.

In the Orlando Sentinel article, some patients said about a week after their hospital visit, they would receive calls offering to refer a lawyer or chiropractor.

The FBI also allegedly found payments from co-conspirators to the worker.

Click here to read the entire article from the Orlando Sentinel.


Charges Being Faced.

The Florida Hospital worker has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and payment to a non-licensed physician.


Contact Health Attorneys Experienced in the Confidentiality of Medical Records.

Our attorneys provide advice and legal opinions on confidentiality of medical records and medical information, including the HIPAA Privacy Regulation, and are available to testify as expert witnesses on these issues.

For a list of applicable Federal and Florida legal authorities on "super-confidential" medical information pertaining to certain types of medical information such as mental health, HIV and drug or alcohol treatment records click here.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Sources:

United State of America v. Dale Munroe, No. 6:12-mj-1378 United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. (August 13, 2012). available at http://www.thehealthlawfirm.com/uploads/USA_v_Munroe.pdf.

Weiner, Jeff. “Ex-Florida Employee Faces Federal Charges in Patient-Records Scheme.” Orlando Sentinel. (August 31, 2012). From: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-08-31/news/os-florida-hospital-privacy-theft-arrest-20120831_1_patient-records-medical-records-access

Kealing, Bob. “Florida Hospital Breach Affects 700,000 People.” WESH Orlando. (August 30, 2012). From: http://www.wesh.com/news/central-florida/Florida-Hospital-breach-affects-700-000-people/-/11788162/16438736/-/12x54xdz/-/index.html


About the Authors: Lance O. Leider is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.


Tag Words: Privacy breach, patient records, medical records, confidentiality of medical records, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), HIPPA Privacy Regulation, HIPPA audits, HIPPA compliance, defense attorney, legal representation, audit attorneys, health care audits
 

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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9/10/2012

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