Prime hospital cited for patient confidentiality violation

Lance Williams reports on a case previously covered on this blog:

A Prime Healthcare Services hospital in Redding broke state law when it publicized a patient’s confidential medical files in an effort to discredit a California Watch news report, state regulators say.

The state Department of Public Health on Tuesday issued five “deficiencies” against Shasta Regional Medical Center for what were described as repeated breaches of patient confidentiality last year.

At one point, the hospital CEO sent an e-mail to 785 people – virtually everyone who worked at the hospital – disclosing details from a 64-year-old diabetes patient’s confidential files, state investigators found.

Read more on California Watch.

Back in January, I suggested that SRMC should probably shut up and not continue to try to defend its actions. The ruling by the state comes as no surprise to me. Nor, however, am I surprised to read that SRMC is appealing the finding.

Do I expect to see fines over this one? You betcha. A “good faith belief” only cuts you some slack, not all.

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