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Surgeon Sentenced to Prison for HIPAA Violation

The first defendant to receive a prison sentence for a HIPAA privacy violation was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting to illegally accessing protected health information contained in electronic medical records of celebrities and others. The defendant, a former UCLA Health System surgeon, pleaded guilty in January to four misdemeanor counts of violating the HIPAA privacy rule. The incidences occurred in 2003 when the surgeon accessed and read the medical records of his immediate supervisor, other co-workers, and celebrities who had visited the health system after receiving notice that he was being dismissed from his job. He illegally accessed patient records 323 times over a 3 week period.

For more information on HIPAA privacy and security rules, please visit www.wachler.com or contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.