The Harris County Hospital District of Houston fired 16 employees last month for a major violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects confidential patient information. The hospital district has not disclosed additional details about the violation, instead issuing a statement saying, “The Harris County Hospital District, in all circumstances, is guided by the best interests of our patients, especially in matters of patient’s protected health information, and our policies that protect our patients privacy are always vigorously enforced. Actions by the hospital district were the result of steadfast diligence performed in the best interests of our patients.”
However, the Houston Chronicle reports that the violation may have involved reviewing the medical records of a first-year resident at the Ben Taub General Hospital who had become a patient after a shooting.
For more information, view the Health Law Partners’ page on HIPAA Privacy and Security, or contact HLP lawyers Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Jessica Gustafson, Esq. at (248) 996-8510.