News

UHealth employees allegedly violate HIPAA policy, face possible punishment

Several University of Miami Health System (UHealth) employees face disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination, for allegedly accessing patient records protected by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), according to an e-mail memo obtained by The Miami Hurricane.

In the March 18 memo, two top administrators at UM’s Miller School of Medicine said an internal investigation found that several unidentified UHealth employees “violated HIPAA regulations and our policies by improperly accessing … their own medical records and those of their family members as well as abusing systems privileges by making medical appointments for themselves and/or their relatives.”

The memo, sent by William Donelan, vice president for Medical Affairs, and William O’Neill, executive dean for Clinical Affairs, did not provide further details concerning why employees may have accessed patient records.

On Wednesday, Sharon Budman, the interim chief privacy officer/ombudsman, suggested that the e-mail was intended to remind the school’s students, faculty and staff of its commitment to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of UHealth patients.

“The e-mail was an internal notification to emphasize the importance of privacy,” Budman said in a phone interview.

The memo also advised students, faculty and staff that discussing a patient’s health information with someone not involved in the case would violate HIPAA rules as well.

According to the UHealth Web site, the network includes six hospitals and more than two dozen outpatient facilities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Collier counties, and it employs more than 1,200 physicians and 8,000 staff.

March 25, 2009

Reporters

Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.