Two emergency room works at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, NY have been accused of violating the personal healthcare data of over 250 patients. The two registrars allegedly accessed patients’ computer records that contained information that included patient Social Security number, date of birth, address, telephone number, and details regarding their injuries and medical treatment received in the ER.
According to the district attorney prosecuting the case, “These defendants are accused of blatantly violating their HIPAA obligations and illegally trolling through confidential patient records,” Richard Brown said in the statement. “Their alleged actions led to patients who were seeking treatment for injuries unwittingly being victimized again with the illegal release of their personal information and medical records.”
Many of the patients whose records were breached were then contacted by lawyers or outpatient facilities. This lead investigators to uncover if the two defendants in the case sold the patient data for a profit to outpatient facilities or lawyers who contacted the patients. The DA’s office spokesman says prosecutors suspect the outpatient clinics that contacted many of the ER patients were trying to cash in on New York State’s no-fault insurance law, under which insurers provide up to $50,000 in benefits to individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents.