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In the News Press Release

Texas Health System Pays $2.4M to Settle Unauthorized Patient Disclosure

Publisher: Bloomberg BNA's Privacy Law Watch
May 11, 2017

Eric Fader was quoted in an article, "Texas Health System Pays $2.4M to Settle Unauthorized Patient Disclosure," published in Bloomberg BNA's Privacy Law Watch. The article discusses a $2.4 million settlement that Texas-based Memorial Hermann Health System reached with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) after it disclosed a patient's identity in a press release without authorization. While one might assume that the OCR must have already covered all possible types of HIPAA violations in its press releases on settlements, Fader told Bloomberg BNA, the settlement illustrates that the agency is continually coming up with new wrinkles. "This settlement is the clearest example I've seen of the principle that the egregiousness of the conduct matters more than the number of individuals affected, and I have no doubt that the OCR, in making the settlement the subject of a press release, intended to drive home this exact point," Fader said. He added that Memorial Hermann's size and perceived ability to pay were likely factors in determining the settlement amount.

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