According to reports, a Georgia-based physician who previously pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) received six months of probation from a Massachusetts federal judge earlier this week.
The physician – a pediatric cardiologist – pleaded guilty in February 2018 to a misdemeanor count of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information in violation of HIPAA, and had faced up to one year of imprisonment.
According to the DOJ, the doctor, in this case, allowed a drug company sales rep to access the confidential medical information of patients who were not diagnosed with a condition treated by Juxtapid to identify potential candidates for the drug, in violation of HIPAA’s prohibition on wrongful disclosures of health information. Fines against the drug company would accompany these criminal sentences. As I have pointed out before:
“Whistleblowers remain the key source of information on fraud and corruption at home and abroad,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the NWC.