Leah Alexander

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Administrative Ethics Paper
Sarah Falsey
HCS/335
October 8, 2012
Leah Alexander

Administrative Ethics Paper
The topic chosen was Massachusetts General Hospital. This paper will go over the issue and its impact. It will also include arguments or facts to support the proposed solution. We will also touch on the ethical and legal issues involved with the release of 196 patients’ medical information. The issue is that 196 patients’ records at the hospital’s Infectious Disease Associates Practice were left by an employee on the subway. These records contained names, medical record numbers, dates of birth, health insurers and their policy numbers, diagnosis, and names of their providers for 66 patients. The Infectious Disease unit treats people with HIV/AIDS, as well as other infectious diseases. The records were never recovered and were lost on March 9, 2009. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a 1 million dollar fine against the Massachusetts General Hospital because of that breach of patient privacy. The HIPAA privacy rule clearly states that health care providers are required to protect the privacy of patient information through administrative, physical and technical defenses. Massachusetts General agreed to fix this and to take actions to prevent this from happening in the future. They agreed to implement a set of policies and procedures regarding what information is removed from the hospital, training all employees on this procedure, and labeling the hospital’s director of internal audit services to serve as an inside observer to evaluate the hospital’s HIPAA compliance and create semi-annual compliance reports to HHS for three years. The facts were that an employee left patients’ records on a subway. Information on those records was way too personal to just be taking out of the hospital. This also ties into the ethical issues as well. The employee should not of been so careless but they should not of taken those records home either....
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