San Diego Medical Center Did Not Report A Data Breach To State

California Healthline reports:

Tri-City Medical Center, which says a longtime clerical clerk was dismissed for breaching patient data, did not report any such event to authorities:

Payers & Providers: Hospital Never Self-Reported Breach
A clerical employee was fired from Tri-City Medical Center in San Diego County this week for an alleged breach of patient data that has not been reported to state authorities, Payers & Providers has learned. The dismissal of Cheryl Rhead, a 19-year-employee of the hospital and its lead admitting clerk for the emergency room, came just weeks after she became one of the head signatories for a San Diego County ballot initiative that would limit executive pay at Tri-City to $250,000 per year and require the district hospital to publich the compensation of its 10 highest-paid employees on its website if passed by voters. (Shinkman, 2/25)

In related coverage, Greg Moran of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Ms Rheads claims she is being fired in retaliation for advocating for a ballot initiative to cap salaries of executives. Her union says she was “accused of violating a patient’s privacy by improperly accessing a medical record on Dec. 29.”

According to Moran:

Rhead denies that she violated patient privacy. According to the Feb. 18 termination letter, Rhead contended she was asked to access a patient’s record to check on the “registration process,” but the hospital said she accessed parts of the record that she did not “have a business need to access.”

David Bennett, a spokesman for the district, said Rhead and the union’s allegation she was fired because of her work on the petition is “absolutely untrue.”

This doesn’t really pass the “smell test.” Would a hospital really fire a 19-year employee over one disputed record access?

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