Two Employees Sacked for Jason Pierre-Paul HIPAA Violation

Earlier in July 2015, Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giant football team member paid a visit to Jackson Memorial Hospital of Miami for medication following a fireworks mishap. News reports appeared soon after verifying Pierre-Paul had undergone a major hand damage. At the time of the disaster, the football player was discussing a new $60 million agreement with the Giants.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter succeeded to get control of Pierre-Paul’s medical reports and published particulars of the damage on Twitter, verifying Pierre-Paul had the central finger of his right hand removed. There was a considerable discussion at the time concerning the legitimacy of Schefter’s revelation, with several declaring HIPAA had been infringed.

Obviously, news reporters and journalists aren’t HIPAA-covered entities, and as such aren’t obligated to obey HIPAA laws. While Schefter couldn’t have infringed HIPAA, the medical info could have come from the hospital only where Pierre-Paul was being cured. HIPAA Laws did seem to have been infringed, not only by Schefter.

Jackson Memorial Hospital carried out an internal inquiry into the possible HIPAA violation to find out how the info came to be publicized. That inquiry was finished some time ago, however, it has taken a while for any particulars of the inquiry to be publicized.

A court case was recorded against Jackson Memorial Hospital after the privacy violation, and as a result, details of the inquiry were withdrawn. It’s hospital rule not to remark on events that are subject to court cases. As per a statement lately issued by the hospital, the lawsuit has now been resolved. While complete details of the inquiry haven’t been issued, the hospital did issue a report saying 2 workers of the hospital had unacceptably retrieved Pierre-Paul’s records and had been sacked.

Jackson Memorial Hospital Secretary Brenda Johnson and Nurse Immacula Richmond both had been sacked as a consequence of the privacy violation. The statement doesn’t show whether either worker revealed details of Pierre-Paul’s injury to the mass media, just that both had unacceptably accessed the NFL player’s health record. Schefter asserts that he didn’t request particulars of the Pierre-Paul’s damage from the hospital, but was sent the info.

As per the statement issued by a representative for Jackson Memorial Hospital, “Protecting the secrecy of our patients is a top urgency in Jackson Health System. Anytime we have accusations of a violation, we immediately and comprehensively scrutinize.”

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.