Former UMC Employees Under Investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/19/04

Former UMC Employees Under Investigation

NewsChannel 11 was told Lubbock police are now working with the FBI in this case. Assistant Police Chief Thomas Esparza tells us they believe at least four people are involved in illegally releasing patient information to at least one business in town.

Lubbock police reports indicate it all started at University Medical Center. Just last week, a patient visited the emergency room for a back injury. Only to find out later, all his confidential medical information, which is supposed to be protected by federal HIPPA laws, somehow got out.

NewsChannel 11 has learned from an UMC insider that two UMC employees were allegedly being paid under the table to give patient information to a physical therapy center in Lubbock. Police tell NewsChannel 11 they are investigating that, but at this point, they can't prove money was involved.

UMC tells us that as a result of this investigation, they fired a UMC employee on Tuesday, the day this incident was reported to police.

UMC says in a written statement to NewsChannel 11, "If these allegations prove to be true, this is a serious breach of public trust by the individuals involved. UMC is strongly committed to protecting the confidentiality of patient information," said Division Director Greg Bruce.

Police are not releasing names of the suspects until they know for sure if a crime has been committed. We have confirmed that at least 200 patients had their information illegally released.

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