Health Information Management

KP Bellfower unsure if it will appeal second fine connected to Octomom

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 3, 2009

An official at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Hospital says it's "too soon" to determine if the suburban Los Angeles hospital will appeal its second six-figure fine in two months for failing to secure the personal electronic medical records of Nadya Suleman and her octuplets from snooping employees.

The California Department of Public Health on July 16 issued an "administrative penalty" of $187,500 after determining that KP Bellflower failed to prevent unauthorized access to the Suleman family's confidential patient medical information. The hospital was also hit with a $250,000 fine on May 15 for similar privacy violations against Suleman, aka Octomom, whose eight children were born at the hospital January 27.

"This is basically the same as the earlier breach. The difference is the earlier report was for the mother. This was for the babies," says Jim Anderson, KP Bellflower spokesman. "The babies' report was filed later because they were in the hospital longer and as a result the investigation took longer. Since the additional safeguards were put in, there have been no improper looks at the medical records of the children."

Read the full story in HealthLeaders Media by John Commins.

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