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Three Face Jail Time for HIPAA Violations

For years the HIPAA regulations have been criticized as “lacking any teeth” because no one had ever been sentenced to prison. That perception may change in the not too distant future. Two former hospital employees and a doctor plead guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in a Little Rock federal court yesterday, reports ArkansasBusiness.com. They were accused of inappropriately accessing the medical files of Anne Pressly, the KATV-TV, Channel 7, reporter who was fatally attacked in her home in October, a patient at the St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center last fall. Each defendant faces up to a year in prison and could also be fined up to $50,000, the report states.

St. Vincent fired at least six employees for looking at the same files after a routine audit revealed inappropriate access.

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