PA: Former Patient Coordinator Pleads Guilty to Wrongfully Disclosing Health Information to Cause Harm
There’s an update to an insider wrong-doing HIPAA case first reported in July, 2018. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania:
PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Butler, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of wrongfully disclosing the health information of another individual, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Linda Sue Kalina, 61, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Linda Sue Kalina worked, from March 7, 2016 through June 23, 2017, as a Patient Information Coordinator with UPMC and its affiliate, Tri Rivers Musculoskeletal Centers (TRMC) in Mars, Pennsylvania, and that during her employment, contrary to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) improperly accessed the individual health information of 111 UPMC patients who had never been provided services at TRMC. Specifically, on August 11, 2017, Kalina unlawfully disclosed personal gynecological health information related to two such patients, with the intent to cause those individuals embarrassment and mental distress.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for June 25, 2019, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Kalina remains on bonding pending the sentencing hearing.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Kalina.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Pennsylvania