It’s been a year since Anne Pressly, 26, was found beaten bloody and unconscious in her bed by her mother, Patricia Cannady. Pressly was a well respected, well loved news reporter who worked for KATV, Channel 7. She never recovered from her injuries and died on Oct. 25.
Cannady is has filed a lawsuit claiming her daughters privacy (under HIPAA) was violated. The suit names St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, Dr. Jay Holland, Candida Griffin, and Sara Elizabeth Miller.
Anne Pressly's Mom Sues Hospital, Dr., Others by Monika Rued; October 21, 2009; KTHV.com
The lawsuit by Patricia Cannady claims they violated Pressly's privacy by illegally looking at her medical records….
Cannady's lawsuit says the actions of the three were extreme and outrageous. It also accuses the hospital of failing to have a system that keeps employees and doctors from illegally accessing medical records.
St. Vincent's issued a statement saying it stands by its safeguards and how the situation was handled.
Pressly’s mother suing 3, hospital: Daughter’s privacy violated, she says By John Lynch; October 21, 2009; ArkansasOnline.com (subscription required)
The hospital has acknowledged firing at least six employees for violating Pressly’s privacy but won’t say exactly how many, and officials on Monday would release only a three-sentence statement defending the hospital.
“We take every patient’s privacy seriously,” the statement from spokesman Margaret Preston reads. “We stand by our commitment to patient privacy, our safeguards and how we handled this situation.”
Jay Holland, a doctor who worked at the hospital; Candida Griffin, a former emergency-room coordinator; and Sara Elizabeth Miller, a former account representative, are targets of Cannady’s lawsuit. The three have each pleaded guilty in federal court to a single misdemeanor count of violating federal health privacy laws, known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. They each face a maximum of year in jail and a $50,000 fine when they are sentenced next Monday.
Griffin and Miller were fired, acknowledging in their June court appearance that they looked at Pressly’s records out of curiosity during the first two days of her stay in the emergency room before she was moved to intensive care.
Previous related post:
Don’t Forget HIPAA Privacy Rules (July 2, 2009)
Addendum (October 25, 2009)
Sentences were handed out today to the three convicted of HIPAA violations as follows:
A federal judge has sentenced a doctor and two former hospital employees to a year of probation after they admitted breaking federal privacy laws by peeking at the medical records of KATV's Anne Pressly.
Dr. Jay Holland was also fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service by speaking to medical workers about the importance of patient privacy.
Candida Griffin, a former emergency room unit coordinator at St. Vincent Health System, was fined $1,500, while Sarah Elizabeth Miller, a former account representative at St. Vincent Medical Center in Sherwood, received a $2,500 fine.