Is a HIPAA Violation a Felony?

There are strict guidelines that healthcare providers must follow in order to ensure privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). When HIPAA violations occur, punishments and criminal penalties can be imposed on those who have the law. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing HIPAA under the: Privacy Rule Security Rule [...]

2023-07-24T15:48:45-04:00May 10th, 2023|

Iowa Man Faces Jail Time for HIPAA Violation

Can HIPAA violations result in jail time? While jail time for HIPAA violations is rare, it does occur.  An Iowa man who pleaded guilty to a pair of counts related to HIPAA violations will spend the next 27 months in federal prison following his sentencing in Des Moines. Dustin James Ortiz, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to wrongfully obtain and disclose individually [...]

2023-07-26T14:26:13-04:00July 1st, 2022|

Canada Nabs Suspect in Alaska HIPAA Breach

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Canada have arrested a man believed to be responsible for an Alaska HIPAA breach in April 2018 that resulted in the possible exposure of approximately 700,000 individuals' protected health information. Following a 23-month investigation, Matthew Philbert, 31, was arrested on November 30, 2020, and charged with fraud, unauthorized use of a computer, and "possession of device to [...]

2023-07-27T15:23:17-04:00December 27th, 2021|

One Week, Two HIPAA Criminal Cases Closed

In the span of a week, the U.S. Department of Justice closed two cases involving criminal HIPAA violations. One of these cases involved the violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, while the other was in relation to the wrongful access of patient information. More details on the HIPAA criminal cases are discussed below. Doctor Violates the Anti-Kickback Statute, Endangering Patients and Accepting Bribes [...]

2023-07-28T09:45:49-04:00June 24th, 2021|

Hospice CEO Pleads Guilty to Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

The former CEO of a Texas hospice service recently pled guilty for his role in defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of tens of millions of dollars in falsified claims. Bradley J. Harris, who ran Novus Health Services and Optim Health Services, Inc., awaits a sentencing hearing on August 3 of 2021. He faces a prison sentence of up to 14 years. The details of the Medicare and Medicaid [...]

2023-07-28T13:53:37-04:00March 30th, 2021|

HIPAA Prescription Theft: A Recipe for Jail

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, healthcare workers face potential jail time for knowingly obtaining PHI without patient authorization. Recently, a New York cancer center nurse accessed patient records without authorization, to find patients who had been prescribed certain drugs. The nurse then stole the drugs. Her actions resulted in revocation of her medical license and jail time. Details of this HIPAA prescription theft are discussed below. HIPAA Prescription [...]

2023-07-28T14:00:30-04:00March 19th, 2021|

Criminal Scheme Leads to HIPAA Criminal Penalties

Three individuals allegedly gained unauthorized access to a healthcare provider’s electronic health record (EHR) platform with the intent to steal and sell protected health information (PHI). Two separate schemes, both involving Lydia Henslee, earned the alleged criminals millions of dollars. More details regarding the breach and potential HIPAA criminal penalties are discussed. What Allegations Are They Facing? Earlier this month, Demetrius Cervantes and Amanda Lowry, two of the [...]

2023-07-31T14:14:36-04:00December 11th, 2020|