Spears Legal Technology


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$800,000 HIPAA Penalty for Leaving Boxes of Documents on Driveway

With all of the attention being paid to the Target and eBay breaches - justifiably - it is important to remember that data protection laws may extend to paper records as well.

Parkview employees, who had been notified that the physician was not at home, left 71 cardboard boxes of these medical records unattended and accessible to unauthorized persons on the driveway of the physician's home, within 20 feet of the public road and a short distance away from a heavily trafficked public shopping venue, according to the resolution agreement between OCR and Parkview.

"All too often we receive complaints of records being discarded or transferred in a manner that puts patient information at risk," says Christina Heide, acting deputy director of health information privacy at OCR. "It is imperative that HIPAA covered entities and their
business associates protect patient information during its transfer and disposal."


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