Monday, August 23, 2004

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? A 42-year-old Washington state man pleaded guilty in federal court this week to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information for economic gain. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, which is prosecuting the case, said the plea agreement represents the first criminal conviction under the health information privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The defendant obtained a cancer patient's name, birth date and social security number from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where the defendant worked. He used the information to get credit cards in the patient's name, charging more than $9,000. The plea agreement is for 10-16 months of prison restitution to the credit card companies and patient.
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