NV: Storage unit reveals abandoned medical files. But wait, there's more….
Glen Meek reports that confidential patient records were found in an abandoned storage unit that was put up for auction.
It’s certainly not the first time we’ve heard this kind of story, but this one has some unusual aspects to it.
The records come from a now-defunct Henderson diagnostic center that was run by a man who called himself Dr. Chinasa Egemonu.
This case gets even messier, however, as it appears the “Dr. Egemonu” who ran the diagnostic center may not have been a licensed medical practitioner at all. The news team uncovered court records showing that despite his claims in a deposition, he never even attended – much less graduated – from Yale Medical School, and never attended Loma Linda University, where he had claimed to have an undergraduate degree. There’s no record he was ever a licensed physician in Nevada, the news team reports.
Also startling is their report that during a bankruptcy proceeding, Egemonu was seemingly able to convince a court that his diagnostic center, Seven Hills Radiology, wasn’t a HIPAA-covered entity. As a result, no patient ombudsman had been appointed by the court to protect patient records. I would love to see all the court records/transcript on that point. Even if a facility doesn’t collect and store “primary” patient information, if it provides diagnostic services and collects PHI, it should be under HIPAA, shouldn’t it? What was this judge thinking, and why?
The incident is being referred to federal officials to determine if patient privacy laws were violated by any health care workers.
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