Health Information Management

Employee posts remarks about patients on Web site

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 15, 2008

An employee of a McKees Rocks, PA, OB/GYN office who posted unfavorable comments about patients on her Myspace.com page has been accused of violating HIPAA, arstechnica.com reported Dec.7. The 29-year-old employee, Stephanie Scilia, posted a Myspace blog in late 2007 that referred to the office’s patients as the “the tramp troop.” In another post, she mocked a patient by writing, “SOME WOMEN SHOULD NEVER REPRODUCE!!!!" The posts did not name the women, but one of the women told reporters she and a friend were the targets of the Scilia posts. Those in violation of HIPAA privacy could face civil penalties of $100 per violation in cases of "willful neglect." Knowingly disclosing PHI could lead to up to $50,000 in fines or one year in prison. Read the full report.

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