Healthcare News & Insights

Hospital pays $1M settlement over lost patient records

Another hospital has been hammered with a costly settlement after a staffer lost patient records on a subway.

Taking your work home with you can be admirable — but if you lose vital records on the way, it’s not worth it.

The General Hospital Corporation and Massachusetts General Physicians Organization Inc. agreed to pay the feds $1,000,000 to settle potential violations of HIPAA, according to the Dept. of  Health and Human Services (HHS).

In addition to the settlement, Mass General has agreed to implement a comprehensive new policy to increase the security of patient information.

The agreement stems from the loss of the records for 192 patients at the hospitals Infectious Disease Associates outpatient practice, including patients with HIV/AIDS. After investigating a patient complaint, the feds found that a Mass General employee left the records on a subway train while commuting to work. The documents were never recovered.

The lost records included names and medical record numbers for 192 of the patients. Also lost were documents including billing forms with health insurance info, policy numbers, diagnoses and the health care providers for 66 of the patients.

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