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On October 23, 2019, The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a penalty of $2.15 million on Jackson Health System (JHS). OCR revealed that JHS had violated HIPAA multiple times between 2011 and 2016.
In 2012, JHS had misplaced a box containing 1,436 paper records containing the protected health information (PHI) of patients. However, they failed to notify the affected patients and the Department of Health and Human Services in time.
In 2015, JHS shared a picture of an operating room screen on social media that contained a patient’s medical information. In another incident that was reported in 2016, a malicious employee stole and sold the PHI of around 2,000 patients. Investigations that followed revealed that the employee had access to over 24,000 patient records from 2011 to 2016 that JHS was unaware of. JHS had not notified the authorities regarding the breach in time; they also did not conduct wide risk analyses, manage identified risks, review information system activity records, or restrict employee access to the PHI of the patients to the minimum required to accomplish their duties.
"Protecting patient privacy is a top priority at Jackson Health System, and we're disappointed whenever we fall short of our high expectations," a spokesperson for the health system said. "Jackson recognized and reported this because strong organizations like ours admit their errors clearly, learn from them thoughtfully, and take decisive action to prevent them in the future."
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