HIPAA Privacy

The three key properties that underpin privacy and security under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are availability, confidentiality, and integrity.

Availability

is the property that data or information is accessible and useable upon demand by an authorized person.

Confidentiality

is the property that data or information is not made available or disclosed to unauthorized persons or processes.

Integrity

is the property that data or information have not been altered or destroyed in an unauthorized manner.

A former researcher at the UCLA School of Medicine has been sentenced to four months in federal prison for violations of the HIPAA privacy rule.

A cardiothoracic surgeon in China before immigrating to the United States, was employed at UCLA in 2003. On Oct. 23, 2003, he received a notice of intent to dismiss him for performance reasons that did not include illegal access of medical records. That evening, he accessed medical records of his superior and co-workers, and during three other periods during the next four weeks accessed UCLA patient records, many of them involving celebrities, a total of 323 times, according to the FBI office in Los Angeles.

Charges were filed in 2009 and the physician pleaded guilty in January 2010 to four misdemeanor counts of illegally reading private and confidential medical records. He faced up to four years in prison.

“HDM Breaking News, April 28, 2010”

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