The Omaha World Herald has recently reported that two employees from the Nebraska Medical Center were fired for viewing Dr. Rick Sacra’s medical records. Dr. Sacra is the doctor-missionary who contracted the Ebola virus while treating others afflicted with the virus in Africa.
According to the Medical Center, “based on the results of the investigation conducted, two employees no longer work for the organization and other corrective action has been taken.”
Unauthorized viewing of another’s medical records is a violation of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability and Act, which protects medical records from unauthorized disclosure.
Dr. Sacra was the third American missionary who contracted Ebola while in Africa and returned to the United States for treatment. He landed in the Medical Center’s hi-tech bio-containment unit.
This only underscores how serious HIPAA compliance is. Not only can employees lose their job, but fines from range from $100 – $50,000 per violation, with a cap of $1,000,000.00.