State Hospital Sanctions Employees for Disclosing Patient’s PHI

Covered Entity: Health Care Provider / General Hospital

Issue: Impermissible Disclosure

A nurse and an orderly at a state hospital discussed the HIV/AIDS status of a patient and the patient’s spouse within earshot of other patients without making reasonable efforts to prevent the disclosure. Upon learning of the incident, the hospital placed both employees on leave; the orderly resigned his employment shortly thereafter. Among other actions taken to satisfactorily resolve this matter, the hospital took further disciplinary action with the nurse, which included: documenting the employee record with a memo of the incident; one year probation; referral for peer review; and further training on HIPAA Privacy. In addition to corrective action taken under the Privacy Rule, the state attorney general’s office entered into a monetary settlement agreement with the patient.

via All Case Examples.